Simulation of flow past a sphere on a rough bed using smoothed particle hydrodynamics (SPH)

Gerhard Bartzke, Georgios Fourtakas, Ricardo Canelas, Benedict D. Rogers, Katrin Huhn

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This paper presents an investigation of flow past a sphere on a rough surface by means of simulation using the meshless numerical method, smoothed particle hydrodynamics (SPH) in the presence of a free surface. A representative of natural and engineered objects is spherical wall-mounted bodies. These are ideal to study the flow conditions around hydraulic structures, boulders, fish habitat structures or even architectural structures. The aim is to understand their effect on the hydrodynamics around the larger object sphere resting on them and their interaction. The Lagrangian particle-based scheme SPH using the open-source code DualSPHysics is validated against datasets from a laboratory-based flume experiment. The validation case was selected from the family of the flow past a sphere test cases since it reproduces the flow features in a simplified manner that can be observed in the vicinity of natural sediment grains or larger bodies. The validation results include flow velocity profiles in the vicinity of the large sphere and comparison with experiment data. The results stand in overall agreement with the experimental velocity and force measurements that demonstrates the applicability of SPH in aquatic environments. An SPH investigation on a rough bed in combination with objects/body near the bed in the presence of a free-surface flow has not been shown before in the literature. This is a novel application with insight into the fluid mechanics made possible by using DualSPHysics solver.

Original languageEnglish
Article number346
JournalComputational Particle Mechanics
Early online date26 Jun 2021
Publication statusPublished - 26 Jun 2021


  • DualSPHysics
  • Flow over boulders
  • Flow over rough surfaces
  • Flow past a sphere
  • Smoothed particle hydrodynamics


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