Flows in the environment, from the intrusion of salt water in fresh water reservoirs, the erosion of beaches, to the flushing of pollutants in harbors, have an impact on our lives and the economy. However, their prediction and modelling present several challenges due to the wide range of length and time scales and several complex interactions, for example, between fluid and sediment, and between fluids of different density.
In our group, we focus on understanding a variety of physical phenomena occurring in environmental flows and developing physical/mathematical models of such phenomena with the objective of improving our numerical modelling and prediction capabilities.
Currently, we are performing research on
- Turbulent mixing of fresh and salt water that is aimed at developing new anisotropic turbulence closure models.
- Sediment transport by coastal vortices that is aimed at quantifying the importance of this mechanism for the sediment budget.
- The sensitivity of sediment transport and transport models to the variability in complex (turbulent) flows.
- The flushing of semi-enclosed basins such as bays and estuaries to devise smart strategies and designs for optimum flushing.
For our research we use and develop different tools from laboratory experiments with state-of-the-art optical diagnostics, direct numerical simulations, and numerical simulations with ocean models.