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11/26/2012

Overview of HEC RAS

FOR UNSTEADY FLOW

Overview
• An unsteady flow model is appropriate when
volume or timing of flow or stage are
important
• RAS unsteady model can simulate:
– Atenuation
– Storage
– Temporal changes in boundary conditions
• Hydrographs, gate changes, tides

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11/26/2012

Overview
• Uses the Saint Venant equations for one
dimensional unsteady flow
– Hydrostatic pressure distribution
– Small channel bottom slope
– Flow velocity over the entire channel cross section
is uniform (one dimensional)

Overview
• Head losses are simulated using steady state
resistance laws
– Manning or Chezy’s equations
• Rigid boundary channel
• Fluid is incompressible and constant density
• Could model pressurized flows using
Priesmann slot approximation (caution!)

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Overview
• Unsteady flow Solution
– Uses implicit finite difference scheme
– Matrix solution determine the flow and stage
simultaneously at all sections for each time step
– Uses relaxation parameters similar to Priessman
Scheme

Overview
• Unsteady flow Solution
– The partial differential equations are replaced by finite
difference approximations
– The non-linear finite difference approximations are
linearized
– The linearized approximations are solved for unknown
water depths and flow rates at every time step in the
simulation
– Four-Point scheme requires relaxation parameter Ө. (Ө >
0.6 to unconditionally stable)
– The smallest Ө the more accurate the scheme
– The largest Ө the more stable (less accurate) the scheme

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Overview
• Losses in Unsteady Flow
– Steady Flow
• Average conveyance (default):
𝑄1 + 𝑄2 𝑆𝑓1 + 𝑆𝑓2
𝑆𝑓 =
𝐾1 + 𝐾2 2

– Unsteady Flow
• Average friction (default):
𝑆𝑓1 + 𝑆𝑓2
𝑆𝑓 =
2
This is more stable than average conveyance

Overview
• Expansion/Contraction Coefficients
– Steady Flow
• Useful in steady flow

– Unsteady Flow
• Do not do anything in unsteady flow
• Momentum equation includes forces acting over the surface
and ends of the control volume
– Include contraction/expansion coefficients in cross
section data.
• Steady and unsteady runs use the same geometry

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Overview
• Accounting for Storage
– Steady Flow
• Storage not accounted for
– Uses ineffective flow areas instead
– Unsteady Flow
• Storage effects can be significant
– Modeled with ineffective flow areas or with “storage areas”
– All areas containing water (even ponded water) must be
modeled
• Ineffective flow areas affect results even when
ineffective elevations are not overtopped

Overview
• Boundary conditions
– Steady Flow 450

400

• Discharge (Q) at each D 350


i
cross section s
300
(

c m
250
• A peak value during a h c
200
a s
storm event
)

r 150
g
– Unsteady Flow e 100

50
• Typically stage or flow 0

hydrographs 0 2 4 6 8
Time (hours)
10 12 14 16

• Changes in flow
during a storm event

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Overview
• Computation Steps
– Steady flow
• Preprocessing: NONE
• Exact hydraulic properties are computed at a cross
section for each water surface elevation based on
ground points
• Uses standard step method
• Uses SNET algorithms
• One set of results generated at all cross sections for
each profile

Overview
• Computation Steps
– Unsteady Flow
• Preprocessing of hydraulic data
– Hydraulic properties are pre-computed for all possible water
surface elevations at each cross section (Htab)
– Cross section hydraulic properties are interpolated from
hydraulic tables
– Matrix solution of implicit finite difference scheme
– Uses program UNET modified
– One set of results generated at specified cross sections for
specified time increments

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