A Numerical Study on the Impact of Building Dimensions on Airflow Patterns and Bed Morphology around Buildings at the Beach

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Abstract

The attractiveness of beaches to people has led, in many places, to the construction of buildings at the beach–dune interface. Buildings change the local airflow patterns which, in turn, alter the sediment transport pathways and magnitudes. This induces erosion and deposition patterns around the structures. In this study, a numerical model is developed using the open-source computational fluid dynamics solver OpenFOAM. First, the model is used to predict the airflow patterns around a single rectangular building. The model predictions are validated with wind-tunnel data, which show good agreements. Second, a reference beach building is introduced and then the building dimensions are increased in length, width and height, each up to three times the reference building dimension. The impact of each dimensional extent on the near-surface airflow patterns is investigated. The results show that the near-surface airflow patterns are least dependent on the length of the building in the wind direction and they depend most on the width of the building perpendicular to the wind direction. Third, the convergence of the third-order horizontal near-surface velocity field is calculated to interpret the impact of changes in airflow patterns on potential erosion and deposition patterns around the building. The numerical predictions are compared with the observed erosion and sedimentation patterns around scale models in the field. The comparisons show satisfactory agreements between numerical results and field measurements.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages34
JournalJournal of marine science and engineering
Volume10
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 24 Dec 2021

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