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|Equilibrium morphological modelling in coastal and river environments : the development and application of self - organisation - and entropy - based techniques
|Nield, Joanna M
|School of Civil and Environmental Engineering
|The planning and management of coastal and river structures such as breakwaters, groynes, jetties, bridges and tidal inlets require accurate predictions of equilibrium morphologies. Generally these types of situations are modelled numerically using process - based models, where wave, current and sediment transport modules are applied over a number of time - steps until a steady - state morphology is obtained. Two alternative methods have been developed and applied in this thesis, based on self - organisation and entropy approaches. The self - organisation - based method utilises a cellular automata model, where local rules produce a global stable pattern through positive and negative feedback. The entropy - based method is able to predict equilibrium morphologies directly. It compares different randomly generated morphologies using an objective function and optimisation, instead of moving to an equilibrium morphology through intermediate states. This avoids some potential problems associated with traditional models such as error propagation and reliance on accurate initial conditions. The models developed in this thesis have been applied to a number of case studies. It was found that the cellular automata model obtained a higher Brier Skill Score than a comparable process - based model when predicting the equilibrium morphology associated with a channel obstruction. The entropy - based method was able to predict a realistic erosional channel in a coastal lagoon, similar to field observations at the Murray River Mouth in South Australia. It had difficulties predicting the deposition pattern due to the bias of the objective function towards erosional environments. The entropy - based method outperformed a conventional model prediction of the equilibrium erosional channel associated with a laboratory - sized lagoon, but similar problems were observed with its deposition predictive ability. The modelling methods developed in this thesis are a first step into the use of non - traditional, entropy - and self - organisation - based models for the prediction of complex equilibrium morphologies. They have made use of non - conventional models in order to explore different objective function formulations or self - organisation rules and the sensitivity of these, and have compared the models to laboratory results. The work documented in this dissertation shows that it is possible to use self - organisation - and entropy - based modelling methods to predict stable, equilibrium morphologies in coastal and river environments.
Lambert, Martin Francis
|Thesis (Ph.D.)--School of Civil and Environmental Engineering, 2006.
Breakwaters Design and construction.
Bridges Design and construction
|river ecology, stream conservation
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