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River and torrents hydmorphodynamics

Keywords: debris flow, hydro-acoustics, measuring technologies, river morphodynamics, roll waves
Fig. 1. Po river: bathymetry from Multibeam survey and concentration from numerical modelling (Author: Massimo Guerrero)
Fig. 2. Debris flow consequences in Letze torrent (Author: Massimo Guerrero)

The study of fluids motion in river and torrents is preliminary to the assessment of sediment fluxes and to the final prediction of consequent morphology changes (i.e., the morphodynamics). Engineer applications range from alps to alluvial plains concerning many aspects of human settlement and civil infrastructures. As instance, in mountain torrents, intense and localised storms may cause flash floods with important sediment transport. In steep torrents, the sediment discharge may increase so that the solid concentration often exceeds 40-50%: this is the case of debris flows that transport downstream huge volumes of sediments that are then deposited on the alluvial fans. In addition, a steady discharge in a constant slope channel will not always result in a steady uniform flow. If the channel is sufficiently steep and long, a series of shallow water waves may develop, propagating downstream, eventually break and overtake one another (i.e., roll waves). More downstream river channels tends to divagates in large flood plains changing position of kilometres in decades. In others cases, river-bed degradation of meters was recorded when the channel planimetric position was fixed by flood embankments. All these processes taking place from upstream to downstream parts of the watershed undermine civil structures such as buildings, dams, viaducts, bridges, embankments, pump intakes and the navigation channel.

The aim of our research is to develop measurement, experimental and mathematical methods for the optimized design of hydraulic structures and the related assessment of risk inherent in the climate-hydrology forcing term.

Field campaigns, laboratory tests were performed and numerical-analytical modelling were implemented also taking advantages from novel underwater-acoustic technologies (Doppler profiler and Multi-beam sonar) and the advancement in computational fluid mechanics (1, 2 and 3 dimensional models).

Main publications

Guerrero, M., Rüther, N., Szupiany, R., Haun, S., Baranya, S. & F. Latosinski, 2016. The Acoustic Properties of Suspended Sediment in Large Rivers: Consequences on ADCP Methods Applicability. Water-MDPI, 8(1), 1-22.

Guerrero, M., Latosinski, F., Szupiany, R.N., Nones, M., Re, M. & M.G. Gaeta, 2015. A sediment fluxes investigation for the 2-D modelling of large river morphodynamics. Adv. Water Resour. 81, 186-198.

Haun, S., Rüther, N., Baranya, S. & M. Guerrero, 2015. Comparison of real time suspended sediment transport measurements in river environment by LISST instruments in stationary and moving operation mode. Flow Meas. Instr. 41, 10-17.

Paarlberg, A. J., Guerrero, M., Huthoff, F. & M. Re, 2015. Optimizing Dredge-and-Dump Activities for River Navigability Using a Hydro- Morphodynamic Model. Water-MDPI 7, 3943- 3962.

Guerrero, M., Ruther, N., & R. Archetti, 2014. Comparison under controlled conditions between multi-frequency ADCPs and LISST-SL for investigating suspended sand in rivers. Flow Meas. Instr. 37, 73-82.

Latosinski, F., Szupiany, R.N., García, C.M., Guerrero, M. & M. Amsler, 2014. Estimation of concentration and load of suspended bed sediment in a large river by means of acoustic doppler technology. ASCE, J. of Hydr. Eng. 140(7), 04014023.

Guerrero, M., Szupiany, R.N. & F. Latosinski, 2013. Multi-frequency acoustics for suspended sediment investigation: validation in the Parana River. J. Hydraul. Res. 51 (6), 696-707.

Guerrero, M., Di Federico, V. & A. Lamberti, 2013. Calibration of a 2-D morphodynamic model using water-sediment flux maps derived from an ADCP recording. J. Hydroinformatics 15(3), 813-828.

Guerrero, M. & A. Lamberti, 2013. Bedroughness investigation for a 2-D model calibration: the San Martìn case study at Lower Paranà. Int. J. Sediment Res. 28, (4), 458-469.

Guerrero, M., Ruther, N. & R. Szupiany, 2012. Laboratory validation of ADCP techniques for suspended sediments investigation. Flow Meas. Instr. 23(1), 40-48.

Guerrero, M. & A. Lamberti, 2011. Flow Field and Morphology Mapping Using ADCP and Multibeam Techniques: Survey in the Po River. ASCE, J. of Hydr. Eng. 137(12), 1576-1587.

Guerrero, M., Szupiany, R & M. Amsler, 2011. Comparison of acoustic backscattering techniques for suspended sediments investigation. Flow Meas. Instr. 22(5), 392-401.

Di Cristo, C., Iervolino, M., Vacca, A. & B. Zanuttigh, 2010. Influence of Relative Roughness and Reynolds Number on the Roll-Waves Spatial Evolution. ASCE, J. of Hydr. Eng. 136(1), 24-33.

Zanuttigh B. & P. Ghilardi, 2010. Segregation process of water-granular mixtures released down a steep chute. J. of Hydrology 391(1-2), 175-187.

Zanuttigh B. & A. Lamberti, 2007. Instability and surge development in debris flows. AGU, Reviews of Geophysics 45, RG3006.

Zanuttigh B. & A. Lamberti, 2006. Experimental analysis of the impact of dry avalanches on structures and implication for debris flows. IAHR, J. Hydraul. Res. 44, No. 4, 522-534.

Research projects

The Norwegian Research Council (NRC), 2017- 2020. FME-Hydropower, the Norwegian centre for Hydropower capabilities.

NRC, ENERGIX, 2015-2018. SediPASS, Sustainable design and operation of hydro power plants exposed to high sediment yield.

ERASMUS-MUNDUS, NOVADOMUS, 2016. ADCP testing for bed-load measurement, research exchange with Un. of Ottawa, Canada.

CAID+11 UNL-Argentina, 2013-2015. El transporte de sedimentos en ríos aluviales: desarrollo de métodos de medición basados en la tecnología acústica Doppler.

EU FP7, 2009-2012. CLARIS-LPB, A Europe- South America Network for Climate Change Assessment and Impact Studies in La Plata Basin.