A Framework to Simulate Small Shallow Inland Water Bodies in Semi-arid Regions

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In this study, a framework for simulating the flow field and heat transfer processes in small shallow inland water bodies has been developed. As the dynamics and thermal structure of these water bodies are crucial in studying the quality of stored water , and in assessing the heat fluxes from their surfaces as well, the heat transfer and temperature simulations were modeled. The proposed model is able to simulate the full 3-D water flow and heat transfer in the water body by applying complex and time varying boundary conditions. In this model, the continuity, momentum and temperature equations together with the turbulence equations, which comprise the buoyancy effect, have been solved. This model is built on the Reynolds Averaged Navier Stokes (RANS) equations with the widely used Boussinesq approach to solve the turbulence issues of the flow field. Micrometeorological data were obtained from an Automatic Weather Station (AWS) installed on the site and combined with field bathymetric measurements for the model. In the framework developed, a simple, applicable and generalizable approach is proposed for preparing the geometry of small shallow water bodies using coarsely measured bathymetry. All parts of the framework are based on open-source tools, which is essential for developing countries.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)77-96
JournalAdvances in Water Resources
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2017


  • Shallow water bodies
  • Semi-arid regions
  • Complex bathymetry
  • OpenFOAM
  • Lake heat storage

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