Current research and challenges related to shallow flows

Wim Uijttewaal*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference proceedings/Edited volumeChapterScientific


Many environmental flows can be considered as shallow. The effects of shallowness are reflected in a strong influence of bed friction and in horizontal velocity gradients as a result of variations in bathymetry and roughness. The horizontal length scales, being generally larger than the vertical length scales, dominate the flow pattern through horizontal momentum exchange. However, three-dimensional effects do play an important role as non-uniformity of bed roughness gives rise to secondary circulation driven by turbulence anisotropy. This not only results in vertical motion, but also hampers the development of eddies formed in the horizontal shear layers. This chapter addresses a few examples where the flow structure is affected by groynes, and examples where roughness variations are the dominant mechanisms creating horizontal shear layers. In the latter cases, the contribution of secondary circulation to horizontal momentum transfer cannot be neglected, demonstrating the importance of three-dimensional effects in shallow flows.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationGeoPlanet: Earth and Planetary Sciences
Number of pages16
Publication statusPublished - 2015

Publication series

NameGeoPlanet: Earth and Planetary Sciences
ISSN (Print)21905193
ISSN (Electronic)21905207


  • Flow structures
  • Mixing
  • Roughness transitions
  • Secondary circulation
  • Shallow flows
  • Turbulence


Dive into the research topics of 'Current research and challenges related to shallow flows'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this