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Wind-blown particulate transport: A review of computational fluid dynamics models

1 Optiflow Company, 160 Chemin de la Madrague-Ville, Marseille, 13015, France
2 Department of Mathematical Sciences Giuseppe Luigi Lagrange, Politecnico di Torino, Corso Duca degli Abruzzi 24, Torino, 10129, Italy

The transport of particulate by wind constitutes a relevant phenomenon in environmental sciences and civil engineering, because erosion, transport and deposition of particulate can cause serious problems to human infrastructures. From a mathematical point of view, modeling procedure for this phenomenon requires handling the interaction between different constituents, the transfer of a constituent from the air to the ground and viceversa, and consequently the ground-surface interaction and evolution. Several approaches have been proposed in the literature, according to the specific particulate or application. We here review these contributions focusing in particular on the behavior of sand and snow, which almost share the same mathematical modeling issues, and point out existing links and analogies with wind driven rain. The final aim is then to classify and analyze the different mathematical and computational models in order to facilitate a comparison among them. A first classification of the proposed models can be done distinguishing whether the dispersed phase is treated using a continuous or a particle-based approach, a second one on the basis of the type of equations solved to obtain particulate density and velocity, a third one on the basis of the interaction model between the suspended particles and the transporting fluid.
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