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Numerical Investigations on the Instability of Boulders Impacted by Experimental Coastal Flows

Wang, Liang, Bressan, Lidia, Tinti, Stefano
Water 2019 v.11 no.8
coastal sediments, hydraulic engineering, hydrodynamics, laboratory experimentation, models, storms, tsunamis, Italy
Coastal boulders transported inland by marine hazards, such as tsunamis and storms, are commonly found worldwide. Studies on the transport process of coastal boulders contribute to the understanding of a wide range of phenomena such as high-energy flow events, fluid-structure interaction, and coastal sediments. Consequently, it is crucial to understand how boulders move, but even more important to determine the instability condition for boulder transport. The hydrodynamic formulas including drag and lift coefficients are widely used to predict the incipient motion of boulders while few studies are conducted to evaluate the capability of these formulas. Recently, a series of laboratory experiments carried out at the Hydraulic Engineering Laboratory (Italian acronym LIDR) of the University of Bologna, Italy, revealed that boulders can start moving when the flow height and flow velocity are lower than the theoretical threshold computed by hydraulic formulas. In this paper, we use a numerical shallow water model to reproduce these freely available laboratory data with the aim of testing the capability of the model in capturing the main evolution of the process, and of casting new light on the instability condition of coastal boulders.