Numerical Modelling of Cohesive Bank Migration
River morphological evolution is a challenging topic, involving hydrodynamic flow, sediment transport and bank stability. Lowland rivers are often characterized by the coexistence of granular and cohesive material, with significantly different behaviours. This paper presents a bidimensional morphological model to describe the evolution of the lower course of rivers, where there are both granular and cohesive sediments. The hydrodynamic equations are coupled with two advection–diffusion
... , which consider the transport of granular and cohesive suspended sediment concentration separately. The change of bed height is evaluated as the sum of the contributions of granular and sediment material. A bank failure criterion is developed and incorporated into the numerical simulation of the hydrodynamic flood wave and channel evolution, to describe both bed deformation and bank recession. To this aim, two particular mechanisms are considered: the former being a lateral erosion due to the current flow and consequent cantilever collapse and the latter a geostatic failure due to the submergence. The equation system is integrated by means of a finite volume scheme. The resulting model is applied to the Tagliamento River, in northern Italy, where the meander migration is documented through a sequence of aerial images. The channel evolution is simulated, imposing an equivalent hydrograph consisting of a sequence of flood waves, which represents a medium year, with reference to their effect on sediment transport. The results show that the model adequately describes the general morphological evolution of the meander.