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After validation with experimental data, large-eddy simulation (LES) is used to study in detail the open-channel flow through a curved flume. Based on the LES results, the present paper addresses four issues. Firstly, features of the complex bicellular pattern of the secondary flow, occurring in curved open-channel flows, and its origin are investigated. Secondly, the turbulence characteristics of the flow are studied in detail, incorporating the anisotropy of the turbulence stresses, as well as the distribution of the kinetic energy and the turbulent kinetic energy. Moreover, the implications of the pattern of the production of turbulent kinetic energy is discussed within this context. Thirdly, the distribution of the wall shear stresses at the bottom and sidewalls is computed. Fourthly, the effects of changes in the subgrid-scale model and the boundary conditions are investigated. It turns out that the counter-rotating secondary flow cell near the outer bank is a result of the complex interaction between the spatial distribution of turbulence stresses and centrifugal effects. Moreover, it is found that this outer bank cell forms a region of a local increase of turbulent kinetic energy and of its production. Furthermore, it is shown that the bed shear stresses are amplified in the bend. The distribution of the wall shear stresses is deformed throughout the bend due to curvature. Finally, it is shown that changes in the subgrid-scale model, as well as changes in the boundary conditions, have no strong effect on the results.