Relatively little work has been done to understand how coarse grained sediments behave near culverts. Particularly for embedded culverts, sediment transport must be understood to achieve sustainable culvert designs for aquatic organism passage and peak discharge requirements. Several culvert sites in the Wasatch Mountains of Utah were studied through the spring flood season of 2014. Data obtained from the culvert sites were used to create numerical models with the Sedimentation and River Hydraulics Two-Dimensional model. The field sites and numerical model were used to study deposition of sediments at the entrance to culverts, sediment replenishment inside culverts, and lateral fining within the culvert barrel. Each element of the study was observed in the field. It was shown that the Sedimentation and River Hydraulics Two-Dimensional model is a useful tool to simulate the observed phenomenon of sediment deposition upstream of culverts, sediment replenishment, and lateral fining. Sedimentation and River Hydraulics Two-Dimensional model should be used in culvert design procedures as a means to understand sediment transport conditions.This work documents the first time that deposition of sediments upstream of a culvert and lateral fining within a culvert barrel have been successfully modeled. The work shows that culvert replenishment occurs naturally in many scenarios and should be simulated as part of the culvert design process. The results from this work will be useful for future design guidelines for culvert installations.



College and Department

Ira A. Fulton College of Engineering and Technology; Civil and Environmental Engineering



Date Submitted


Document Type





culverts, culvert replenishment, sediment transport, Stream Simulation, HEC-26, lateral fining, lateral sorting, sediment deposition