SPH Simulation of Interior and Exterior Flow Field Characteristics of Porous Media

Shijie Wu, Matteo Rubinato, Qinqin Gui

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9 Citations (Scopus)
46 Downloads (Pure)


At the present time, one of the most relevant challenges in marine and ocean engineering and practice is the development of a mathematical modeling that can accurately replicate the interaction of water waves with porous coastal structures. Over the last 60 years, multiple techniques and solutions have been identified, from linearized solutions based on wave theories and constant friction coefficients to very sophisticated Eulerian or Lagrangian solvers of the Navier-Stokes (NS) equations. In order to explore the flow field interior and exterior of the porous media under different working conditions, the Smooth Particle Hydrodynamics (SPH) numerical simulation method was used to simulate the flow distribution inside and outside a porous media applied to interact with the wave propagation. The flow behavior is described avoiding Euler’s description of the interface problem between the Euler mesh and the material selected. Considering the velocity boundary conditions and the cyclical circulation boundary conditions at the junction of the porous media and the water flow, the SPH numerical simulation is used to analyze the flow field characteristics, as well as the longitudinal and vertical velocity distribution of the back vortex flow field and the law of eddy current motion. This study provides innovative insights on the mathematical modelling of the interaction between porous structures and flow propagation. Furthermore, there is a good agreement (within 10%) between the numerical results and the experimental ones collected for scenarios with porosity of 0.349 and 0.475, demonstrating that SPH can simulate the flow patterns of the porous media, the flow through the inner and outer areas of the porous media, and the flow field of the back vortex region. Results obtained and the new mathematical approach used can help to effectively simulate with high-precision the changes along the water depth, for a better design of marine and ocean engineering solutions adopted to protect coastal areas.
Original languageEnglish
Article number918
Number of pages25
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 24 Mar 2020

Bibliographical note

This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Zhejiang Province Natural Science Foundation, grant number LQ16E090001, the National Natural Science Foundation of China, grant number 51509134


  • Smooth Particle Hydrodynamics (SPH)
  • porous media
  • mathematical model
  • coastal structure
  • ocean and engineering


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