A multiphase flow modeling approach equipped with a hybrid turbulence modeling method is applied to compute the gravity currents in a rectangular channel. The present multiphase solver considers the dense fluid, the less-dense ambient fluid and the air above free surface as three phases with separate flow equations for each phase. The turbulent effect is simulated by the IDDES (improved delayed detach eddy simulation), a hybrid RANS/LES, approach which resolves the turbulent flow away from the wall in the LES mode and models the near wall flow in RANS mode on moderately fine computational meshes. The numerical results show that the present model can successfully reproduce the gravity currents in terms of the propagation speed of the current heads and the emergence of large-scale Kelvin-Helmholtz type interfacial billows and their three dimensional break down into smaller turbulent structures, even on the relatively coarse mesh for wall-modeled RANS computation with low-Reynolds number turbulence model. The present solutions reveal that the modeling approach can capture the large-scale three dimensional behaviors of gravity current head accompanied by the lobe-and-cleft instability at affordable computational resources, which is comparable to the LES results obtained on much fine meshes. It demonstrates that the multiphase modeling method using the hybrid turbulence model can be a promising engineering solver for predicting the physical behaviors of gravity currents in natural environmental configurations.

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