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Individual-based model of juvenile eel movement parametrized with computational fluid dynamics-derived flow fields informs improved fish pass design

Padgett, Thomas; Thomas, Robert E.; Borman, Duncan; Mould, David

Authors

Thomas Padgett

Dr Robert Thomas R.E.Thomas@hull.ac.uk
Senior Research Fellow in Geomorphology and Flood Risk

Duncan Borman

David Mould



Contributors

Thomas Padgett
Researcher

Duncan Borman
Supervisor

David Mould
Supervisor

Abstract

European eel populations have declined markedly in recent decades, caused in part by in-stream barriers, such as weirs and pumping stations, which disrupt the upstream migration of juvenile eels, or elvers, into rivers. Eel passes, narrow sloping channels lined with substrata that enable elvers to ascend, are one way to mitigate against these barriers. Currently, studded eel tiles are a popular substrate. This study is the first to evaluate the flow fields within studded eel tiles and to model the swimming performance of elvers using cellular automata (CA) and individual- (or agent-) based models. Velocities and flow depths predicted by a computational fluid dynamics model of studded eel tiles are first validated against published values for a single installation angle–discharge combination. The validated model is then used to compute three-dimensional flow fields for eel passes at five different installation angles and three inflow discharges. CA and individual-based models are employed to assess upstream passage efficiency for a range of elver sizes. The individual-based model approximates measured passage efficiencies better than the CA model. Passage efficiency is greatest for shallow slopes, low discharges and large elvers. Results are synthesized into an easy-to-understand graphic to help practitioners improve eel pass designs.

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date 2020-01
Journal Royal Society Open Science
Electronic ISSN 2054-5703
Publisher Royal Society, The
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 7
Issue 1
Article Number 191505
APA6 Citation Padgett, T., Thomas, R. E., Borman, D., & Mould, D. (2020). Individual-based model of juvenile eel movement parametrized with computational fluid dynamics-derived flow fields informs improved fish pass design. Royal Society Open Science, 7(1), https://doi.org/10.1098/rsos.191505
DOI https://doi.org/10.1098/rsos.191505
Keywords Cellular Automata; Computational Fluid Dynamics; Eel Tiles; European Eel; Individual-based Modelling