The role of computational fluid dynamics in understanding shipwreck site formation processes

Smyth, T.A.G. and Quinn, R (2014) The role of computational fluid dynamics in understanding shipwreck site formation processes. Journal of Archaeological Science, 45. pp. 220-225. ISSN 0305-4403

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Studies indicate that physical processes commonly dominate the initial stages of wreck site formation.
Detailed knowledge and understanding of hydro- and sediment- dynamics are therefore imperative for
studies dealing with site formation and in-situ preservation. In this investigation, the results of
computational fluid dynamic modelling over a shipwreck site are presented, using a high-resolution
surface derived from multi-beam echo-sounder data and boundary conditions constrained by field
measurements (sediment samples and flow measurements). Simulation of the 3-dimensional flow velocity
field around the wreck site, and secondary products derived from the computational model,
confirm that flow velocity and turbulence are both amplified by the presence of the wreck, causing
changes in the morphology of the flow regime. Flow contraction, the formation of lee-wake vortices
behind the structure (accompanied by vortex shedding) and increased turbulence are all observed.
Shear-stress and TKE amplification three to four times greater than ambient values are recorded
downstream of the wreck structure. Benefits of this approach for studies of site-formation and in-situ
conservation include the inexpensive, open-source, and desk-based nature of the investigation.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information and Comments: NOTICE: this is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in the Journal of Archaeological science. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published in the Journal of Archaeological Science, Vol 45, (May 2014). Available at
Faculty / Department: Faculty of Science > Geography and Environmental Science
Depositing User: Thomas Smyth
Date Deposited: 08 Jun 2018 14:03
Last Modified: 08 Jun 2018 14:03

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