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SedFOAM Documentation


A three-dimensional two-phase flow solver, SedFoam, is presented for sediment transport applications. The solver is based on twoPhaseEulerFoam available in the official release of the open-source CFD software OpenFOAM. In this approach the sediment phase is modeled as a continuum, and constitutive laws have to be prescribed for the sediment stresses. In the proposed solver, two different inter-granular stress models are implemented: the kinetic theory of granular flows and the dense granular flow rheology $(I)$. For the fluid stress, laminar or turbulent flow regimes can be simulated and three different turbulence models are available for sediment transport: a simple mixing length model (one-dimensional configuration only), a $k-$ and a $k-$ model. The numerical implementation is first demonstrated by two validation test cases, sedimentation of suspension and laminar bed-load, and two applications are then shown to illustrate the capabilities of to deal with complex turbulent sediment transport problems. Different combinations of inter-granular stress and turbulence models are tested. The source code and tutorial cases are disseminated at the public website: and detailed tutorial description and documentation can be found at

This manual is written as the documentation of the open-source solver SedFOAM-3.0, it includes the installation procedure and a description of the model input/output files. The details concerning the mathematical formulation and the numerical implementation can be found in Chauchat, Cheng, Bonamy, Nagel, Hsu (Geophysical Model Development, 2017,

The documentation is divided into two parts, the first one is the user manual:

  • Section Installation explains how to download, compile and install SedFoam.
  • Section Getting started gives informations on how the case directory is organised.
  • Section Tutorials describes the tutorials provided with SedFoam sources including postprocessing using a python toolbox also provided with the source and the expected results.
  • Section faq gives answers to frequently asked questions.
  • Section trouble gives some basic answers about what to do in case of problems.

The second part provides informations for developers.

SedFOAM license

Copyright © 2019 by Cyrille Bonamy, Julien Chauchat, Tim Nagel, Antoine Mathieu, Zhen Cheng and Tian-Jian Hsu.

Permission to use, copy, modify, and distribute this software and its documentation under the terms of the GNU General Public License is hereby granted. No representations are made about the suitability of this software for any purpose. It is provided "as is" without express or implied warranty. See the GNU General Public License for more details.


This study is supported by National Science Foundation (CMMI-1135026; OCE-1356855), Office of Naval Research (N00014-1e4-1-0586, Littoral Geosciences and Optics Program), the R\'egion Rhones-Alpes (COOPERA project and Explora Pro grant) and the French national programme EC2CO-LEFE MODSED. We gratefully acknowledge developers involved in OpenFOAM, which is the foundation of the new solver SedFoam

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