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Flow in meander bends with recirculation at the inner bank

Ferguson, R.I.; Parsons, D.R.; Lane, S.N.; Hardy, R.J.

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R.I. Ferguson

D.R. Parsons

S.N. Lane


In highly curved river bends, flow may separate at the inner bank to create a recirculation eddy with weak upstream flow. Very little is known about how recirculation eddies connect with the downstream flow or how the latter is affected by their presence. We investigate these questions using three-dimensional time-averaged computational fluid dynamics models of two natural bends with inner-bank separation. Test measurements of velocity in one bend agree well with the simulation. Common points in the two simulations are that (1) an outer-bank helix is only present in the upstream part of the bend, (2) maximum near-bank velocities are highest here rather than beyond the apex as in most bends, (3) reverse flow extends farther across the channel at the surface than the bed, and (4) flow within the recirculation eddy has a three-dimensional structure, linked with that in the outer-bank free stream. Substantial differences in detail between the two bends appear to be due to differences in upstream planform, manifested through the lateral distribution of inflow velocity.


Ferguson, R., Parsons, D., Lane, S., & Hardy, R. (2003). Flow in meander bends with recirculation at the inner bank. Water Resources Research, 39(11), Article 1322.

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date Nov 21, 2003
Deposit Date Oct 6, 2008
Publicly Available Date Mar 24, 2010
Journal Water Resources Research
Print ISSN 0043-1397
Electronic ISSN 1944-7973
Publisher Wiley
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 39
Issue 11
Article Number 1322
Keywords Hydrology, Geomorphology, Instruments and techniques, Mathematical Geophysics, Modeling.


Published Journal Article (1.1 Mb)

Copyright Statement
Ferguson, R. I., Parsons, D. R., Lane, S. N., Hardy, R. J., (2003), 'Flow in meander bends with recirculation at the inner bank', Water resources research, 39 (11), 1322, 10.1029/2003WR001965 (DOI). To view the published open abstract, go to and enter the DOI.

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