2023 – The Rocsc@r Cloud: A Novel Digital Environment for Computing Rock Scour by 3D Fluid-solid Coupling

E.F.R. Bollaert

Rock scour downstream of high-head dams and in unlined channels and stilling basins of dam spillways is becoming a frequently occurring phenomenon. Climate change and related regulatory requirements generate frequent functioning of dam spillways, and sometimes triggers a first main spillage of spillways that have been constructed decades ago but were never used, or only used for minor discharges. Hence, unlined rock masses downstream of those structures experience greater hydraulic stress by action of hydrodynamic pressures at the water-rock interface. Sound prediction of rock scour potential becomes more pertinent, especially for cases where the scour hole may potentially regress towards the dam or spillway foundations. This paper firstly presents an innovative cloud-based digital platform for rock scour at unprotected rock bottoms downstream of high-head dams and in unlined plunge pools and spillways. A series of novel computational methods have been developed and bundled into a cloud-based numerical platform, based on user-defined tailored parametric settings of the dam and spillway geometry, the turbulent flow and the rock mass. The platform offers real-time scour computations and potential for embedment into digital twins of dams, offering enhanced management of scour during flood events and improving dam safety. These novel methods complete the existing Comprehensive Scour Model developed by Bollaert & Schleiss (2005) and allow a 2D or 3D prediction of the time evolution of the shape of the plunge pool. Second, the paper presents the application of this novel cloud-based digital platform to the large-scale laboratory tests with plunging jets performed at the Stellenbosch’ University in Cape Town, South Africa (Bosman 2021, Bosman & Basson, 2020).

Buy this resource