Development of a snowdrift model with the lattice Boltzmann method

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Abstract

We developed a snowdrift model to evaluate the snowdrift height around snow fences, which are often installed along roads in snowy, windy locations. The model consisted of the conventional computational fluid dynamics solver that used the lattice Boltzmann method and a module for calculating the snow particles’ motion and accumulation. The calculation domain was a half channel with a flat free-slip boundary on the top and a non-slip boundary on the bottom, and an inflow with artificially generated turbulence from one side to the outlet side was imposed. In addition to the reference experiment with no fence, experiments were set up with a two-dimensional and a three-dimensional fence normal to the dominant wind direction in the channel center. The estimated wind flow over the two-dimensional fence was characterized by a swirling eddy in the cross section, whereas the wind flow in the three-dimensional fence experiment was horizontally diffluent with a dipole vortex pair on the leeward side of the fence. Almost all the snowdrift formed on the windward side of the two-dimensional and three-dimensional fences, although the snowdrift also formed along the split streaks on the leeward side of the three-dimensional fence. Our results suggested that the fence should be as long as possible to avoid snowdrifts on roads. [Figure not available: see fulltext.].

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Tanji, S., Inatsu, M., & Okaze, T. (2021). Development of a snowdrift model with the lattice Boltzmann method. Progress in Earth and Planetary Science, 8(1). https://doi.org/10.1186/s40645-021-00449-0

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