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Lecture notes
WL  delft hydraulics
Computational Hydraulics
Version 20061
The right of Adri Verwey to be identified as the author of this work has been asserted in accordance
with the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988
Lecture notes
Computational Hydraulics © 2005 Adri Verwey UNESCO  IHE
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Contents
1 Introduction...............................................................................................................7
2.1 Introduction..................................................................................................17
2.8 Stability........................................................................................................26
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3.1 Introduction..................................................................................................43
4.1 Introduction..................................................................................................61
5.1 Introduction..................................................................................................81
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6.1 Introduction................................................................................................101
6.9 Exercise......................................................................................................116
7.1 Introduction................................................................................................117
7.4 Exercise......................................................................................................128
8 References..............................................................................................................129
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1 Introduction
For larger scale problems, however, the unsteady nature of flows becomes more
dominant and methods used will become more complex. Whereas until various
decades ago, the focus has been on developing approximations, partly empirical, of
the full hydrodynamic behaviour of the water system, the use of computers has made
it possible to describe hydraulic systems quite accurately. Over the past decades
enormous progress has been made in developing simulators or mathematical models
for all kinds of hydraulic systems, such as rivers, drainage networks, irrigation
networks, water distribution networks etc.
Currently, the level of accuracy of such simulators is primarily limited by the quality
of data available to construct and calibrate the models. A variety of good software
packages is available to construct such models. However, good schematisations of
hydraulic systems in models requires some insight in the laws and techniques behind
these modelling systems in order to use them correctly in building one’s own model.
In this series of lectures we address this need by providing insight into the nature of
onedimensional unsteady flow. After the introduction of the unsteady flow
equations, the link between the equations and the physical system is shown by the
characteristic celerities of disturbances propagating along channels. This provides
the basis for the numerical schemes developed to solve the equations. Moreover, it
shows clearly the effect of boundary variations and, in particular, the effects of
control of hydraulic systems.
With this understanding as a basis, numerical method is introduced. First, only the
socalled ordinary differential equations are treated, enabling us to do simple
backwater computations, water quality simulation in well mixed reservoirs etc.
However, at the same time numerical concepts and their evaluation are introduced
relating to the accuracy, stability, robustness and efficiency of numerical operations.
This will serve as a necessary basis for those who want to develop their own models,
as well as for those applying existing modelling systems.
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It should be realised that a real steady flow does not exist in nature. There will
always be some small variations in the flow distribution, even if there are no
observable water level variations. The steady flow is a concept of our engineering
mind, which sometimes can simplify engineering without unacceptable differences
from reality. However, the danger exists that engineers turn too easily towards the
concept of steady flow, even in cases where this is a quite wrong schematization of
reality and where this approach may lead to quite wrong conclusions.
For this reason, it is important to familiarize oneself with problems which typically
show more significant variations both in time and in space. Hydraulic problems in
channels are governed by two important concepts: storage and conveyance. For
incompressible flow, the first concept deals with water volume conservation. The
second concept deals with balance of forces acting upon the water mass and their
effect on the momentum balance. Of particular importance in this description is the
magnitude of flow momentum losses due to channel friction relative to the gain of
momentum due to gravity or other forces.
Before we can discuss more in detail the difference between steady and unsteady
flow, the concept of boundary conditions has to be introduced. In general, one is
only interested in a specific part of a hydraulic system. To illustrate this idea, it is
useful to consider the hydrological cycle. Water evaporates from the sea surface,
precipitates partly above land and flows via the land surface, or via infiltration
through the subsurface, to the rivers and, in most cases, back to the sea. Let us now
consider the river part of this cycle, or even a small part of this river system. The
link to the upstream part of this river subsystem is specified in the form of a
boundary condition and, more specifically, as the upstream boundary condition.
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The link to the lower part of the river system, or to the sea, is specified as the
downstream boundary condition. In the sequel, we will discuss these boundary
conditions in more detail, including the question of the real need for such conditions
in our computations.
The question of the flow type is very much linked to the nature of the changes at the
boundaries of the area described (or modelled). When the part of the river system
studied adapts its state only slowly to the changes at the boundaries, the system is
considered to be unsteady. However, when the river system adapts its state nearly
instantaneously to the changes at the boundaries, the system is said to be quasi
steady and some steady flow concepts might be used. This is usually the case when
local or nearfield problems are studied, such as local structures with their typical
backwater effects.
One of the important parameters influencing this ease to adaptation is the storage in
the system. If this storage capacity is large compared to the difference between
inflow and outflow the time scale of adaptation is also large. It is very likely, then,
that we will observe a strongly unsteady flow phenomenon. If, however, there is
little storage capacity available between the boundaries, the adaptation of the state of
the system to the new boundary conditions may be fast and the flow may pass
through a sequence of nearlysteady states. This adaptation is also dependent on the
facility of the flow to accelerate or decelerate. If the adaptation of flow particle
velocities to changing boundary conditions is fast, the system will pass through a
series of nearlysteady states. Where the adaptation is slow compared to the changes
at the boundaries, the result will be clearly an unsteady flow.
Floods in a river are the result of the surface and subsurface runoff generated during
periods of intense rainfall. This response usually leads to a typical hydrograph shape
discharge and water level variation in the river, which is more pronounced when the
rain is uniformly distributed over the period of the rain event. However, as rainfall is
generally not uniformly distributed in time, the discharge distribution from the
catchments into the river is usually less irregular. While the flood wave propagates
down the river it undergoes further deformations due to varying storage and
conveyance characteristics of the river channel and due to additional lateral inflows
from other catchments. These processes together form a typical unsteady flow
phenomenon, which can only be studied by simulations on the basis of unsteady
flow equations.
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Despite these differences, it will be shown in the sequel that these problems require
the same modelling tools as the ones used for the study of flood routing in rivers.
In wadis, the unsteady nature of the flow is even more pronounced than in many
other rivers, due to the infiltration of the water into the river and flood plain bed.
This leads to the steepening up of the flood wave front. Also, if often leads to the
complete disappearance of the flood wave after some time.
Flow in irrigation systems is usually controlled for the optimum use of the water
resources. This control introduces variations in time. A fast control may even lead to
the formation of hydraulic jumps travelling along the channel. Although the design
of the irrigation canals is often based on steady flow concepts, the performance
under operation usually requires checks on the basis of unsteady flow computations.
The description of flow through a hydraulic structure within a river branch is usually
based on an assumption of steady flow. The discharge at each moment in time is
directly dependent on the water level boundary conditions. Although these water
levels may vary rather fast, the discharge generated will respond more or less
instantaneously. The immediate adaptation of the flow to changing boundary
conditions is the result of the lack of storage between the upstream and downstream
section and the presence of a relatively small water mass to be accelerated or
decelerated. As will be shown in the sequel, the possibility to link a steady flow
channel element to channel elements where the flow has a distinctly unsteady nature,
depends on the relative importance of the various terms of the equations describing
the flow problem.
Flow in pipe networks for water distribution in a town is often computed as steady
flow. For given constant water demands at various places in town and constant water
levels in reservoirs, the flow and pressure distribution over the complete network
can indeed be computed. These computed pressures can be checked against
minimum pressure requirements. However, the assumption of constant demands is
an oversimplification of reality. Water demands usually have daily and weekly
cycles. Reservoirs may be filled during the night at cheaper electricity rates and
emptied during the day, when demands are higher. Fire fighting may suddenly
change the water demands over the network. These varying demands and storage
lead to unsteady flow phenomena in pipe networks, although these are still often
computed as series of quasisteady states. Complete unsteady flow may occur as a
result of sudden changes caused by failures or misoperation of the distribution
network. This may cause unacceptable water hammer and cavitation effects. In this
case computations are based on the use of the full unsteady flow equations for pipe
flow, including storage of water resulting from water compressibility and pipe
diameter expansion.
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With numerical methods this process is reversed and balance equations are derived
over finite control volumes, starting from the differential equations. For this reason,
one cannot expect that this procedure leads to the same results as those which might
have been obtained by solving the partial differential equations directly. However, in
most cases such solutions do not exist, particularly when the equations are non
linear. This, unfortunately, is usually the case when solving practical problems in
hydraulics.
Currently, for nearly all applications in hydraulics, numerical methods have been
developed that work well and have the potential of limiting the differences between
exact solutions and the approximate solutions. In these lectures we are discussing the
differences by dealing with concept such as consistency, stability, robustness and
economy of numerical operations. In particular, it will be shown how partial
differential equations can be transformed into linear finite difference equations, to
which extent these linearization’s require iterations and what sort of algorithms exist
to solve the systems of equations in an economical way.
It will also be shown, wherever applicable, that numerical behaviour is related to the
physical behaviour described. Most obvious is the relation between boundary data
requirements and the way changes at boundaries are affected by the hydraulic
system. However, also the performance of iteration techniques are influenced by the
physical behaviour of the system.
The objective of dealing with numerical methods in this lecture series is to provide
enough background information to serve as a basis for the correct development of
models and for the best choice of modelling systems offered for use in a project.
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For a better understanding of what a model represents, let us look at one of the many
possible ways of defining such a tool:
· definition of objectives
· schematisation
· equations and conditions
· solution algorithm
· software choice or development
· data collection
· model calibration
· model verification
· simulations
Definition of objectives
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Model schematization
The schematisation of the physical system follows from the complexity of the
processes and the economical interest in studying these processes in all their details.
The use of simplified models, based on a simplified description of the physical
processes is only justified if the results of the model can still be used reliably in the
design process. In other words, if the results still fall within the reliability range of
data used by the designer. All processes in nature are of a threedimensional and
unsteady nature. The choice in the model schematisation is primarily:
From the spatial dimensions and the time, the modeller selects one or more
independent variables x,y,z or t, or other independent variables if certain
transformations are applied, e.g. r and in a polar coordinate system. Such a choice
is strongly linked to the model objectives. For example, a reservoir can be
schematized into a single point, if one wants to study the water level variations and
the reservoir outflow as a function of time. The same reservoir, however, will
require a threedimensional schematization in space in a study of windinduced
circulations or velocity patterns following from density stratification.
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Solution algorithms
The balance equations in space and time provide us, generally, with partial
differential equations. These equations are transformed from a continuous form into
a discrete form by writing them out as relations between variables at points in the
computational domain. Such formulations are based on finite differences, finite
elements or boundary integrals and provide systems of linear equations. Completed
with a linearized formulation of boundary conditions and special elements, such as
hydraulic structures, the total system of linear equations may be solved with a
variety of algorithms, ranging from simple Gaussian elimination as a direct matrix
solver, to iterative techniques such as the conjugate gradient method. The solution
algorithm usually has to follow a specific sequence of operations, consistent with the
physical links in the system.
Software
For most environmental studies standard software tools are available. For simple
problems engineers usually turn to spread sheet packages, whereas for problems
related to open channel flow in networks, reservoirs, flow in pipe networks, sewer
systems, water hammer, coastal management, short waves computations etc. various
software products are available, developed at specialized hydraulic research
institutes. The use of these packages assures a flexible user environment and a
reliable solution of all sorts of numerical problems.
Data collection
Over the past years more and more effort has been spent on the collection of all sorts
of data and the processing and storage of these data in data bases. However, for
model development, data available in data bases is not always sufficient, as the
calibration of models often requires data measured over short periods in time,
available at various locations simultaneously. For this reason, the models are usually
set up with whatever data available in the standard data base, completed with data
collected during some specially organised campaigns.
Some data required for a model can be collected directly in the field. Examples are
salinities, channel crosssections, discharges, water levels and concentrations of
dissolved substances. Some data can only be collected with a certain degree of
uncertainty, such as the details of the topography in the flood plains. Other types of
data cannot be measured at all, such as Manning numbers and diffusion coefficients.
Such data can only be estimated on the basis of a sound engineering judgement,
based on the interpretation of recorded values of other variables and parameters. The
more uncertainty we have in the model parameters, the more we are dependent on a
good set of calibration data. The fit between measurements and computations and
the knowledge of the processes enables the adjustment of the parameters until an
acceptable fit has been obtained. For model calibration one will usually select a
number of events, which are complementary to each other in terms of the calibration
parameters.
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A calibration of a river model, for example, will typically start with low flow
calibration and finish up with the calibration of some typical flood events. This
procedure allows for the calibration of channel roughness parameters, prior to the
calibration of flood plain conveyance and storage parameters. After completion of a
model calibration the model should be verified on a set of data not yet used for
parameter estimation. However, in practise it is not easy to reserve such a set and
even if such verification runs are made, the differences between model and
prototype performance may lead to lengthy arguments about the quality of the model
data. In other words, why should one trust the results of verification more than the
results of a model calibration?
Simulations
Once the model has been accepted it can be used for the typical simulations
following from the definition of the model objectives. It should be kept in mind that
the use of the model with modified parameters may, in turn, modify other
parameters. As an example, the construction of river embankments may also change
the bed roughness. The use of such models, therefore, should always be
accompanied with sound engineering judgement based on a thorough knowledge of
the physical processes.
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2.1 Introduction
This chapter deals with the solution of problems described on the basis of one single
independent variable, such as x or t. A typical example is the simulation of flow
through a reservoir, where water level variations in the horizontal plan are neglected
and the point water level fluctuates in time as a result of timevariations in inflow
and outflow. The water volume balance leads to an ordinary differential equation of
the first order which can conveniently be solved by a finite difference
approximation.
Another typical example connected to this problem is the description of the variation
in time of the concentration of a chemical substance in the reservoir water, assuming
that this reservoir is wellmixed. The balance equation for this substance also leads
to an ordinary differential equation with time as the independent variable.
Although the simplest problems of this category can be studied by exact solutions of
the differential equations, the more flexible formulation of model equations and
parameters requires solutions formulated by numerical schemes, such as finite
difference schemes or finite element schemes. In the sequel, a range of finite
difference approximation are introduced and discussed in terms of accuracy, stability
and convergence of solutions.
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dh
nA = Q ; Q =  kAh
dt
or, by elimination of Q,
dh
Article 2. = ah (2.1)
dt
h = h0 ea t (2.2)
This exact solution is given here primarily with the purpose of comparing various
numerical schemes, solved with a variety of numerical parameters for these
schemes. The numerical schemes that will be introduced successively are the
· Euler scheme;
· Improved Euler scheme;
· Implicit scheme;
· NewtonRaphson scheme.
The numerical parameter in this example is the time step of numerical integration t.
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Figure 2.2 Situation sketch for the definition of a derivative (tangent) to a function h(t)
dh h(t + Dt )  h(t )
= L im (2.3)
dt Dt ® 0 Dt
one may use the inverse of this definition to construct a finite difference scheme of
Equation (23) on the basis of the approximation
dh Dh h n +1  h n
@ = @  a hn
dt Dt Dt
or
h n +1 @ (1  aDt ) h n (2.4)
where it should be noted that n is introduced as a counter for the time step and
written as a superscript to the variable h or to any other quantity defined at a grid
point at time t=n t. This notation should not be confused with an exponent. The
numerical scheme introduced this way is called an Euler scheme. The right hand
side of Equation (2.6) is taken at time t=n t. Assuming that the value of h is known
at that point, we call such a scheme a forward difference scheme as we construct a
solution forward in time proceeding from a point where the solution is already
known.
Figure 2.3 Sketch of a finite difference approximation as the inverse of the definition of a
derivative at a point A at t=n t
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Figure (2.3) also shows that for any nonlinear solution the finite difference scheme
introduces at each time step an error , defined as the difference between the exact
solution of the equation and the solution obtained with the scheme. From the figure
it may also be concluded that this error usually increases with an increasing time
step. It will also be clear that the error depends on the curvature of the function,
expressed by the influence of the higherorder derivatives. In other words, for
solutions deviating slowly from straight lines one may take larger time steps than for
solutions which deviate fast from straight lines, if one wants to obtain the same
relative accuracy of the solution.
Let us demonstrate the effect of the choice of time step by solving Equations (2.1)
and with the Euler scheme of Equation (2.4) for the following data:
h0 = 10 mm
= 0.1 day1
Table 2.1 shows results at T=4 days for the exact solution of the equations,
compared with numerical solutions obtained with Equation (2.4) for time steps t =
0.5 days, 1.0 day and 2.0 days respectively. Differences between the exact solution
and the numerical solution are 1 %, 2 % and 4.5 %, respectively. It is also observed
that the errors are larger than those found at T = 2 days, demonstrating the
accumulative effect of the errors during the integration of the differential equation
along the time axis.
Table 2.1 Influence of the numerical scheme and the time step on the accuracy of results
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Figure 2.4 Various derivatives used in the finite difference approximation: (a) derivative used in
the Euler scheme; (b) ideal choice of derivative bringing the solution from point A to
point B; (c) approximate derivative used in the centred schemes
h n +½ @ (1  ½aDt ) h n (2.5)
Substitution of this approximate value in the expression of the derivative gives the
finite difference approximation over the total time step from grid point n to (n+1) as
h n +1  h n
@  a h n +½
Dt
or
h n +1 @ h n  aDt h n +½ (2.6)
Results of this scheme, also given in Table (2.1), show considerable improvements
in accuracy, with errors of 0.15 % and 0.3 % for time steps of 1.0 and 2.0 days,
respectively. Even considering that the amount of computational work done with the
improved Euler scheme is approximately twice the amount of work done with the
normal Euler scheme, the improvement in terms of efficiency is still remarkable.
For an equivalent computational effort the improved Euler scheme produces only 15
% of the error of the normal Euler scheme. Although similar improvements in
accuracy are not always obtained for all problems, the example demonstrates the
potential of efficiency improvements by using higheraccurate numerical schemes.
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h n +1  h n
@  (½a h n + ½a h n +1 )
Dt
or
1  ½aDt n
h n +1 = h (2.7)
1 + ½aDt
For the given value of and a time step of 1 day this leads to the simple relation
h n +1 = 0.9048 h n .
Results of this computation are shown in Table (2.1). The errors are 0.017% and
0.13% for time steps of 1.0 and 2.0 days, respectively. In terms of accuracy, this
approach gives another considerable improvement over the earlier introduced so
called explicit schemes. Although this conclusion may not be generalized to other
numerical schemes without exceptions, the implicit schemes, in general, have the
potential of providing more accurate results, at lower computations cost, due to the
better centring of the finite difference equations. However, for problems involving
more unknown variables, the implicit schemes lead to systems of linear equations,
which have to be solved simultaneously through matrix operations.
In most cases the overall solution algorithm leads to more numerical operations per
time step. However, this is generally compensated by the much larger time steps that
can be taken. As a consequence, currently most numerical algorithms are based upon
implicit schemes. Apart from the higher accuracy, another important advantage of
implicit schemes is their improved stability or robustness behaviour, as discussed in
§ 2.8.
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Assume, for example, that the coefficient in Equation (2.1) is given as a linear
function of h by the relation
a = a0 + a1h
dh
=  a0 h  a1h 2 = F (2.8)
dt
Dh
= F n + ½DF
Dt
F n Dt
Dh = (2.9)
1 + ½Dt ( a0 + 2a1h n )
The advantage of this approach is that the change in the value of the coefficient is
already partly taken into account during the integration over the time step. From
Equation (2.13) one may conclude that the process is not yet ideal, as the value of h
in the right hand side of the expression is taken at grid point n, whereas the
substitution of a value at grid point (n+½) would be more precise. Referring, again,
to the implicit scheme of § 2.5, the value of would be taken at grid point n,
whereas an improved centring would require an additional iteration, similar to the
approach followed in the improved Euler method. The Newton Raphson implicit
scheme is generally used without such additional iteration as in most cases this extra
step is hardly cost effective.
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n
Dt k æ d k h ö
¥
h n +1
= h +å
n
ç k ÷ (2.10)
k =1 k ! è dt ø
with all derivatives taken at grid point n. In Equation (2.10) k! should be read as “k
factorial”, defined as the product 1*2*3*… .*k.
It will be useful to discuss the meaning of the term under the summation sign in a
pragmatic way. The term tk refers to a step in time raised to the power k and
cancels, at least in magnitude, against the contribution dtk. The notation dkh has the
meaning of expressing differences in function values at points in the vicinity of the
point where the Taylor's series is expanded upon and has a value comparable in
order of magnitude to the average function value at these points. As the value of k!
increases rapidly with increasing k, it may be expected then that the contribution of
the higherorder derivative terms in this expanded series decreases rapidly with
increasing k.
n n n
h n +1  h n æ dh ö Dt æ d h ö Dt æ d h ö
2 2 3
= ç ÷ + ç 2÷ + ç ÷ + h.o.t . (2.11)
Dt è dt ø 2 è dt ø 6 è dt 3 ø
where h.o.t. refers to all higherorder terms in this series expansion. Substitution of
the Euler scheme of Equation (2.4) into Equation (2.11) and dropping the superscript
n provides
dh Dt d 2 h Dt 2 d 3 h
= ah  2
 3
+ h.o.t . (2.12)
dt 2 dt
14444244443 6 dt
TE
This difference TE is called the truncation error of the finite difference scheme. For
the improved Euler scheme, Figure (2.3) visualizes this truncation error by the
magnitude . For the special case of Equation (2.1), the magnitude of all higher
order derivatives can be expressed in terms of the value of h at those points, as
shown for constant by successive differentiation of the equation with respect to t.
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At all points in time this gives the truncation error in the form
a2 h a3 h 2
TE = Dt  Dt + h.o.t. (2.13)
2 6
As the numerical integration proceeds in time, the errors of each individual time step
are accumulated. It should be remarked here that the accumulative error for any t is
subject to a decay by virtue of the meaning of Equation (2.1) and for any realistic
time step t the accumulated error will tend to zero for t à . Another interesting
observation regarding the truncation error in the numerical integration of Equation
(2.1) is the nearlylinear decrease of the error when reducing the time step t from
2.0 days to 0.5 days, as shown in Table 2. 1. This behaviour points at a rapidly
decreasing influence of the higherorder derivatives in the truncation error, for this
application.
The much smaller truncation error in the implicit scheme of Equation (2.7) can also
conveniently be demonstrated by a Taylor's series expansion. This derivation
follows a more common introduction of Taylor's series in numerical schemes. After
the selection of the appropriate centre point of the scheme all values of the
dependent variables introduced at neighbouring grid points are expanded from that
centre point. For the implicit scheme, centred at point n+½, the Taylor's series
expansion gives
æ dh ( ½Dt ) d 2 h (½Dt ) d 3 h ö
2 3
(1 + ½aDt ) çç h + ½Dt + 2
+ 3
+ h.o.t . ÷
÷
=
è dt 2 dt 6 dt ø
æ dh ( ½Dt ) d 2 h ( ½Dt ) d 3 h ö
2 3
(1  ½aDt ) çç h + ( ½Dt ) + 2
+ 3
+ h.o.t . ÷
÷
è dt 2 dt 6 dt ø
where all values of h and the derivatives with respect to time are taken at grid point
n+½. Expanding these expressions further leads to the equation
dh a d 2h 1 d 3h
=  a h  Dt 2 2  Dt 2 3 + h.o.t. (2.14)
dt 8
144444dt 424 dt
2444444 3
TE
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Considering, again, that for this application all third and higherorder derivatives
are small, the remaining part of the truncation error is indeed much smaller than that
of Equation (2.12) for any realistic choice of t. A realistic time step in this context
is a choice which relates t to the value of as discussed in § 2.10.
Figure 2.5 Oscillations and instabilities generated for large time steps: (a) exact solution; (b) stable
oscillatory solution for t=18 days; (c) unstable solution for t=22 days
2.8 Stability
Despite the truncation error in the computation presented in Table (2.1) most results
are quite acceptable for practical purposes. However, it is interesting to observe
what kind of results would have been produced if the time step had been taken much
larger. As an example, let us consider a time step of 25 days in an application of the
Euler scheme for the same equation and data as used in Table (2.1). For successive
time steps the sequence of results would be 10, 15, 22.5, 33.75, 50.63, 75.94 etc.,
leading to infinity or an exponent overflow message on a digital computer after a
sufficiently large number of time steps. In any hand computation the sequence of
operations would have been interrupted after one or a few time steps as the results
would appear to be unrealistic for any practical interpretation. A computation of this
kind is called an instability. In an unstable computation results will always exceed a
limit which has been set by the engineer as a realistic maximum or minimum value,
for which exceedance is not to be expected (Figure 2.5). A frequently used analysis
for the definition of stability criteria is based on the notion of amplification factors
between results at successive time steps. If the absolute value of the amplification
exceeds unity at each and every step in time, one has sufficient proof of the unstable
nature of the computation. The application of this analysis to the Euler scheme of
Equation (2.4) gives
h n +1
 A = = 1  aDt £ 1 (2.15)
hn
as a stability condition for the scheme. Since t is definite positive the stability
condition for the Euler scheme is derived as t 2.
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Applying the same reasoning to the implicit scheme of Equation (2.7) leads to
1  ½aDt
£ 1 (2.16)
1 + ½aDt
and to the conclusion that the implicit scheme is unconditionally stable. However,
the stability limit of t=20 days obtained for this application of the Euler scheme is
far beyond any time step that would be set as a maximum from the accuracy point of
view. Even for the implicit scheme the results obtained with this time step are very
inaccurate, as h drops to zero over the first time step and remains zero over all
successive time steps, whereas in the exact solution the value of h decreases
exponentially from the given initial value and only approaches the value of zero for
tà .
It may be included that the unconditional stability of the implicit scheme does not
have special advantages in this application to the solution of ordinary differential
equations. When moving to applications on partial differential equations, however,
the increased stability of the implicit schemes will turn out to be of such great
importance that currently, nearly all finite difference schemes are based upon
implicit formulations.
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Of all these sources of errors the numerical error is easiest controlled and a general
requirement in model simulations is that the numerical error does not add to the
uncertainties in the results introduced by the other sources. To satisfy this condition,
the numerical error should be of an order of magnitude smaller than the overall
expected error. So, if the overall error is expected to be some centimetres in level,
the admissible numerical error should not exceed a few millimetres. Whereas it is
already difficult to estimate the magnitude of the overall error, it is even more
difficult to estimate the numerical error generated during one single time step and
even more so the accumulated effect over various steps.
As the truncation error contains higherorder derivatives, a first estimate of the time
step is based on an idea about the curvature of the solution function. Strongly curved
solution functions require smaller computational steps than solutions with more
gentle variations.
In a pragmatic approach one might also limit the allowable change in the function
derivative over a single time step. For the simple Equation (2.4), this condition is
equivalent to setting a maximum to the change in the value of h from one time step
to the other. Setting, for example, as a criterion that over a single time step a change
of 5% is allowed, this criterion leads to t 0.05, or t 0.5 days.
Even in this simple case, however, it remains difficult to estimate the accumulated
effect of this error over various time steps. In an attempt to do so and keeping in
mind the decaying nature of the error, the accumulated error E at time step n=N, is
approximated as
å ½ Dt a h n (1  aDt )
N n
E = 2
(2.17)
n =1
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Reservoir volume balance and spillway flow are given by the following set of
equations
dh
A = Qi ( t )  Qo (2.18)
dt
Q0 = 1.71 m L ( h  hcr )
1.5
(2.19)
where
A  level dependent surface area of the reservoir;
h  reservoir water level above a general reference (e.g. mean sea level
MSL);
hcr  level of the spillway crest;
L  length of the crest;
m  discharge coefficient.
In principle, Equation (2.19) may be substituted into Equation (2.18) to give one
single equation with h as the only dependent variable. However, in general it is
preferred to do such substitutions at the level of the numerical formulation after
linearization of the equation and/or the finite difference formulation.
= 1.71 m L ( h n  hcr )
1.5
Q0 n (2.20)
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Dt
h n +1 = hn +
An
{
Qi ( t n )  Qo n } (2.21)
where n, again, has the meaning of a superscript indicating the grid point along the
time axis. To demonstrate the computational algorithm, a small example is worked
out with the following data:
t Qi(t) h A(h)
hinitial= 24.70 m (hours) (m3/s) (m) m2
hcr= 24.00 m 0 50 24 0.4*106
L = 30 m 1 150 25 0.8*106
t = 1 hour 2 360 26 1.0*106
m = 1.1 3 340 27 1.1*106
Table 2.2 Results of the reservoir routing simulation with the Euler method
With reference to Figure (2.8) it is readily seen that the time step of 1 hour is too
large, as the error introduced by using a reservoir surface area at time n t is
significant. Moreover, the use of the discharge at time n t contributes to the error in
the time derivative, although it does not affect the volume balance in a direct way.
Figure 2.8 Volume error at successive time steps in reservoir routine using the Euler scheme
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For the NewtonRaphson formulation the equations are rewritten in the form
dh 1
dt
=
A
( Qi ( t )  Qo ) = F ( h, Qi , Qo ) (2.22)
Dh
= F n + ½DF (2.23)
Dt
n
æ dQ ö
Qo + DQo
n
= Qo ( h ) + ç o ÷ Dh
n
(2.24)
è dh ø
where
¶F ¶F ¶F
DF = DQi + DQo + Dh
¶Qi ¶Qo ¶h
n (2.25)
=
1
A n (
DQi  DQo ) 
1
( An )
2 ( ) æ dA ö
Qi ( t )  Qo n ç ÷ Dh
n
è dh ø
and
dQo
= 1.5*1.71* m L ( h  hcr )
0.5
(2.26)
dh
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The coefficients in the two linear equations can be collected to the form
éa a12 ù  é Dh ù  éb ù
A = ê 11 ; x = ê ú; b = ê 1ú (2.29)
ë a21 a22 úû ë DQ0 û ëb2 û
where
a11 =
2 An 1
Dt A
( æ dA ö
+ n Qi ( t n )  Qo n ç ÷
è dh ø
)
a12 = 1
n
æ dQ ö
a21 = ç 0÷ (2.30)
è dh ø
a22 = 1
b1 (
= 2 Qi ( t n ) + ½DQi  Qo n )
b2 = Qo n  Qo ( h n )
Elimination of Q leads to
b1 + b2
Dh = (2.31)
a11 + a21
DQ = b1  a11Dh (2.32)
The computation over the same time steps as taken for the demonstration of the
Euler method gives results as shown in Table (2.3). The results, indeed, are more
realistic than those of Table 2.2. However, the differences between Q0n and Q0(hn)
indicate that it is advisable to use a smaller time step of integration.
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Table 2.3 Results of the reservoir routing simulation with the implicit NewtonRaphson method
time (hrs) grid hn (m) Q0n (m3/s) Q0(hn) (m3/s) Qi(t) An*105 dA/dh dQ0/dh
point (m3/s) (m2) *105 (m) (m2/s)
0.0 0 24.700 33.05 33.05 50 6.80 4.00 70.82
1.0 1 24.992 53.73 55.75 150 7.97 4.00 84.31
2.0 2 25.688 114.45 123.78 360 9.38 2.00 109.98
3.0 3 26.379 199.71 207.02 340
d
( cV ) = ci Qi  c Qo  k cV (2.33)
dt
or
dc dh
V ( c ) + cA = ci Qi  c Qo  k cV (2.34)
dt dt
Substitution of Equation (2.18) into Equation (2.34) and division of all terms by the
reservoir volume V leads to
dc Qi
= ( ci  c )  kc (2.35)
dt V
where the volume V, as a function of the reservoir level, follows from the integration
of the surface area A along h. Such integration is best based upon a simple
trapezium rule as the surface area, obtained from planimetering a topography from a
map, is never accurate enough to justify higheraccuracy integrations of the Ah
relation, such as the Simpson's rule or even integrations based on cubic spline
functions. Moreover, linear Ah relations are used in the NewtonRaphson method
and the use of the trapezium rule for the integration of the Vh relation is consistent
with this approach. Although in a quick analysis the dilution coefficient
Qi
D = (2.36)
V
is often set as a constant, giving for Equation (2.35) the exact solution
D
c = c0 e  ( k + D ) t  ci ( e  ( k + D )t  1) (2.37)
k+D
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We will focus here on the general case where D is a function of time and the exact
solution of Equation (2.35) does not exist. The simplest numerical solution of
Equation (2.35) is, again, based on the Euler method, giving
æQ ö
= c n + Dt ç i ÷ ( ci  c )  kc n Dt
n
c n +1 (2.38)
èV ø
Numerical solutions have the advantage over analytical solutions that all parameters
can easily be made a function of the dependent variables c and h and of the
independent variable t.
Examples of such further generalization of relations both in the water quantity and
quality part are:
Again, in this example more accurate results are obtained for a given time step with
the improved Euler method and implicit methods, including the NewtonRaphson
formulation. As the water balance is not affected by the pollutant concentration, any
implicit technique leads to a system of linear equations with the unknown
concentration at the new time level decoupled from the unknown level and out
flowing discharge. It is also rather common to simulate the water quantity part first,
write results to a data base and subsequently retrieve the necessary information in a
separate water quantity computation. We will return to this approach when
discussing water quality studies in rivers, coastal areas and in reservoirs where the
assumption of a well mixed estuary is not correct.
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with
Figure 2.10 Crosssection and crosssectional parameters used in the nonuniform flow computation
Assuming the absence of lateral flow, the steady state De Saint Venant equations
reduce to the form
ç ÷+ + I0 + 2 = 0 (2.41)
gA dx è A ø dx K
Further differentiation of the first term of Equation (2.41) gives, for constant Q,
æ Q 2 dA ö dh Q2
ç1  3 ÷ + I0 + 2 = 0 (2.42)
è gA dh ø dx K
or
dh 1 æ Q2 ö
= I
ç 0 + ÷ (2.43)
dx Fr 2  1 è K2 ø
with the dimensionless Froude number Fr defined as a function of the flow velocity
u, the crosssectional area A and the storage width b, as
u2 Q 2 dA
Fr 2 = = (2.44)
A gA3 dh
g
bs
For a given discharge, the right hand side of Equation (2.43) is a function of the
water level above the channel bottom, giving
dh
= F ( h) (2.45)
dx
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Table (2.4) gives an example of such function F(h), where it is readily seen at which
depth the equilibrium slope is reached. This depth, for which F(h) = 0, is called the
normal depth.
Dhi æ dF ö
= Fi + ½ ç ÷ Dhi (2.46)
Dx è dh øi
or
Fi Dx
Dhi = (2.47)
æ dF ö
1 ½ ç ÷ Dx
è dh øi
For the crosssectional data given in Figure (2.10), a discharge Q=3.40 m3/s, a bed
slope I0=104, the uniform flow depth is found for dh/dx=0, or Q2=K2I0, giving
K=340 m3/s and h=1.00 m from the conveyance function shown in Table (2.4). At
the downstream end of the channel the flow is controlled by a weir with a free
overflow given by Equation (2.19) with parameter values:
giving a water level above the bottom just upstream of the weir of h0=2.30 m. The
value serves as the downstream boundary condition for the nonuniform flow
computation. In the situation sketch of Figure (2.11) attention is drawn to the fact
that the numerical integration of Equation (2.43) proceeds in the negative x
direction, requiring a negative value for the distance step x.
A suitable choice for this distance step follows from the consideration that in the
first integration step the change in h should be limited to a reasonably small fraction
of the difference between the downstream boundary water depth and the uniform
flow depth. Considering that the NewtonRaphson approach gives fairly accurate
results, a first step h = 0.10 m, covering approximately 10 % of the total difference,
should be acceptable. Linear interpolation in Table 2.3 gives a value K = 1498 m3/s
at the downstream boundary. For a friction slope Q2/K2 = 0.052 * 104, giving a
difference of 0.95 * 104 with the bed slope, a choice x = 1000 m satisfies the
criterion selected. Completing the table with the water level gradient function F of
Equation (2.43) for the given discharge (Table 2.4), the upstream water depths can
be computed by applying Equation (2.47). Results are shown in Table (2.5) over a
distance of 12 km upstream of the weir.
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Table 2.4 Crosssectional data given as a tabulated function of the depth, including discharge
dependent functions for Q = 3.4 m3/s (see also Figure 2.10)
Table 2.5 Nonuniform flow computation based on the NewtonRaphson implicit approach (a)
and compared with results of the Euler method (b)
The results are also computed by using the Euler scheme which differs from the
Newton Raphson scheme by the second term in the denominator of Equation (2.47).
Assuming that the NewtonRaphson results are rather accurate, for this distance step,
the Euler scheme produces results which might be considered acceptable for
practical use. Although the difference of 1.3 cm at x=12000 m will still increase
further upstream, the crosssection schematization, the constant bed slope and the
choice of roughness coefficients will give rise to significantly larger uncertainties
about the correct water levels.
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For another observation we refer to Table (2.4). The number of levels for which the
cross sectional parameters are given is fairly small and produce unacceptable errors
in the linear interpolation of these values. The errors introduced are most likely
larger than those caused by using a lower accuracy numerical integration scheme.
Although this might be acceptable in a quick analysis by hand computation, any
computer code would be programmed to set up the table with much smaller steps.
This table step size should not exceed substantially the step h in the numerical
integration. For our problem it would have been advisable to present the functions
bs, A, K, Fr and F at intervals of 10 cm.
The advantage of the NewtonRaphson scheme over the Euler scheme is the higher
accuracy obtained at the cost of the simple additional computation of the
denominator of Equation (2.47). For a comparison of its efficiency with that of the
normal Euler scheme let us recompute the solution with a four times larger distance
step, as shown in Table (2.6).
The NewtonRaphson approach still maintains its high accuracy during the first two
steps. During the third step the effect of the large table step in felt in the correction
through the term dF/dh. The difference of 1.7 cm with the computation taking x =
1,000 m, would certainly have been much smaller if Table (2.4) had been set up with
smaller steps h. The result obtained with the Euler method for this case differs 7.0
cm from the most accurate result and is quite unacceptable.
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Of course, one could have decided to increase the distance step as the depth comes
closer and closer to the normal depth.
However, returning to Equation (2.45), one could also introduce a numerical scheme
taking equal steps h in the dependent variable h, a socalled inverse scheme. The
advantage of this approach is that the right hand side of the equation, being only a
function of h, can be centred without requiring the iteration of the improved Euler
scheme. The simple inverse scheme looks as follows:
Dh
Dxi = (2.48)
Fi +1/ 2
and results are shown in Table (2.7) for steps h = 0.10 m. These results are based
on the same interval for presenting topographic data as given in Table (2.4).
Interpolation at x =  8,000 m in Table (2.7) gives a depth of 1.596 m, which only
differs 0.1 cm from the result obtained with the NewtonRaphson scheme. At x = 
12,000 m, however, the difference is 0.5 cm, which difference must mainly be
attributed to the NewtonRaphson integration based on too large table intervals (grid
point 910).
The normal depth h=1.00 m is found at x = 33 km, whereas theoretically this should
be at x =  . However, this deviation is of no practical importance at all. Although
the inverse scheme is very handy for uniform channel computations, it looses its
advantage or even does not work at all in applications where the channel parameters
vary along the channel axis.
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12 19,665 1.100
1.05 0.0756 13,228
13 32,893 1.000
¶A ¶A
dA = dx + dh (2.49)
¶x ¶h
or
dA ¶A ¶A dh
= + (2.50)
dx ¶x ¶h dx
dh 1 æ Q 2 Q 2 ¶A ö
= ç I 0 +  ÷ (2.51)
dx Fr 2  1 è K 2 gA3 ¶x ø
For the solution of this equation it is most practical to process the function F (x, h)
as a tabulated function at equal depth steps h, starting from a reference point near
the channel bottom. It is advisable to choose a h that has the same value at all
crosssections given along the river. For each river section, between two successive
crosssection points, a set of parallel lines is found along which F (x, h) reflects the
change in F along x, while keeping h constant. This approach will require at each
crosssection the processing of one table reflecting the values dA/dx applicable to
the left hand channel section and another table reflecting their values applicable to
the right hand section.
Dhi æ ¶F ö æ ¶F ö
= Fi + ½ ç ÷ Dx + ½ ç ÷ Dhi (2.52)
Dx è ¶x øi è ¶h øi
or
æ ¶F ö
Fi Dx + ½ ç ÷ Dx
2
è ¶x øi
Dhi = (2.53)
æ ¶F ö
1 ½ ç ÷ Dx
è ¶h øi
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The higher accuracy integration methods have been introduced primarily, as the
principles demonstrated are commonly applied in the numerical methods for solving
partial differential equations. Applications of iterative methods as applied in the
improved Euler method, implicit schemes and Newton Raphson principles, will be
discussed in Chapters 4, 5 and 6.
2. Explain in your own words why the improved Euler method is more attractive in
use than the standard Euler method.
DS 1
= ( I1 + I 2  O1  O2 )
Dt 2
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where
S = reservoir storage ;
I = reservoir inflow ;
O = reservoir outflow,
4. Explain why the resulting functions in Table (2.1), both obtained with the Euler
method and the implicit scheme, is below the exact solution. Also explain why
the resulting function obtained with the improved Euler method lies above the
exact solution.
5. Find with a computation carrying more decimal positions than shown in Table
(2.1) the ratio between the errors obtained with the Euler scheme and the implicit
scheme for a time step of 1 day. Discuss this ratio in the light of the truncation
errors for both schemes.
7. Show with a more precise computation of the results of the implicit scheme
computation in Table (2.1) that at T = 4 days the error obtained with t = 2 days
is four time larger than the error obtained with t = 1 day. Explain this
difference from the truncation error of the scheme as shown in Equation (2.14).
8. Give the fourth order derivative term of the truncation error of Equation (2.14).
10. Extend the computation shown in Table (2.2) with one additional time step.
11. Extend the computation shown in Table (2.3) with one additional distance step.
12. Extend the computation shown in Table (2.5) with one additional distance step.
13. Explain why the depths calculated with the Euler scheme in Table (2.5) are
smaller than those obtained with the NewtonRaphson scheme.
14. Explain why in Table (2.6) the depth obtained in a computation with a distance
step of 4 km is smaller than the depth obtained with a 1 km step.
15. Recompute the solution of Table (2.7) with h = 0.05 m over the range 2.1 h
2.3 m. Comment on the results.
16. Explain what sort of problems may result from the application of Equation (2.48)
for the computation of nonuniform channel flow.
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3.1 Introduction
Unsteady channel flow will be first derived for a simple uniform channel of unit
width, a horizontal bottom with friction along the walls and the bottom neglected.
Referring to Figure (3.1), the water depth is symbolized by h and the average flow
velocity by u. These variables u and h are usually called the dependent variables,
defined as functions of the independent variables x (space coordinate) and t (time
coordinate). The definition of two dependent variables requires the formulation of
two equations for their solution. In channel flow these equations are usually based
upon volume and momentum conservation. The volume conservation approach
assumes incompressible flow and constant water density. This is a quite realistic
assumption for free surface fresh water channel systems. The equation following
from this volume conservation principle is called the continuity equation.
inflow = uh
Assuming that both u and h are continuous functions of x, the outflow at the
downstream section of the control volume can then be defined as
¶
outflow = uh + (uh) dx
¶x
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The storage in the control section per unit time is expressed in terms of the change in
water level as
¶
storage = (h dx)
¶t
based on the concept that for continuous water level changes with initial depth h0,
the depth h1 after a step in time dt equals
¶h
h1 = h0 + dt
¶t
Balancing terms gives the continuity equation in the form
¶h ¶
+ (uh) = 0 (3.1)
¶t ¶x
Differentiating out the second term leads to another, often used, form
¶h ¶h ¶u
+u +h =0 (3.2)
¶t ¶x ¶x
where M and u are both vectors acting along the channel axis. Over a certain step dt
in time, the change of M is balanced by the net amount of momentum carried by the
fluid velocity through the boundaries of the control volume and the impulse
generated by the forces acting upon it. Both quantities are to be taken with their
component acting in the xdirection. Following the same principles as used in the
derivation of the continuity equation, the net amount of momentum carried with the
flow velocity is defined by
¶
M a = u r uh  [u r uh + (u r uh) dx ]
¶x
where the first term refers to the inflow of momentum and the term within braces to
the outflow of momentum per unit time.
F dt = d(mu)
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where F is a force acting on the fluid with mass m and velocity u. The product of the
force and the time period over which it is acting is called an impulse. Newton's
second law states that this impulse generates a change in momentum.
Under the simplifications introduced above, the only forces acting on the control
volume are the hydrostatic forces at the upstream and downstream ends of the
control section. Integrating the hydrostatic pressures over the verticals (Figure 3.2)
gives the net force
¶
dF = ½r g h 2  [ ½r g h 2 + ( ½r g h 2 ) dx ]
¶x
Balancing all terms over a unit time step leads, after division of all terms by the
constant dx, to the equation
¶ ¶ ¶
( r uh ) + ( ru 2 h ) + (½r g h 2 ) = 0
¶t ¶x ¶x
¶ ¶ ¶h
(uh) + ( u 2 h ) + gh = 0 (3.3)
¶t ¶x ¶x
Differentiating out the product terms in the derivatives, substituting the continuity
equation and dividing all the remaining terms by h, leads to
¶u ¶u ¶h
+u + g =0 (3.4)
¶t ¶x ¶x
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c = gh (3.5)
¶c ¶c ¶u
2 + 2u + c = 0 (3.6)
¶t ¶x ¶x
Similarly, the substitution of Equation (3.4)into Equation (3.3)s
¶u ¶u ¶c
+u + 2c = 0 (3.7)
¶t ¶x ¶x
The set of Equations (3.5), (3.6) represents the characteristic form of the flow
equations. The special significance of this form will become clear when respectively
Equation (3.5) is added to and subtracted from Equation (3.6), to give the set of
equations in the form
¶ ¶
(u + 2c) + (u + c) (u + 2c) = 0 (3.8)
¶t ¶x
and
¶ ¶
(u  2c) + (u  c) (u  2c) = 0 (3.9)
¶t ¶x
Before drawing any conclusions from these relations, we will introduce the general
mathematical formulation expressing the change of the value of a function f when
moving from a given point P to a neighbouring point Q.
As shown in Figure (3.3), this change results from the partial derivatives of the
function in tdirection and xdirection respectively as
¶f ¶f
df = dt + dx (3.10)
¶t ¶x
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df ¶f dx ¶f
= + (3.11)
dt ¶t dt ¶x
Taking for f the function u+2c, readily shows by comparison of Equations (3.7) and
(3.10) that along the line with direction
dx
= u+c (3.12)
dt
the expression
d
(u + 2c) = 0 (3.13)
dt
holds, while the comparison of Equations (3.8) and (3.10) shows that along the line
with direction
dx
= uc (3.14)
dt
the expression
d
(u  2c) = 0 (3.15)
dt
The line with the direction expressed by Equation (3.11) is called the c+
characteristic, whereas the line with the direction expressed by Equation (3.13) is
called the c characteristic.
u + 2c = J + = constant (3.16)
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u  2c = J  = constant (3.17)
In this formulation J+ and J are the socalled Riemann invariants. For the simplified
channel flow equations these invariants have constant values along the socalled c+
and c characteristics respectively. When introducing additional terms in the
equation, such as lateral flow, bottom slope and bottom friction, these Riemann
invariants will contain correction terms and will no longer be "invariant".
Figure 3.5 Characterisitics leaving from points A and B, defining the solution of the flow state at a
point P
The significance of the characteristics, however, goes far beyond the possibility to
make such computations. The fact that along the characteristics a special condition is
valid, implies that they pass on some information on the state of the fluid. In other
words, the characteristics are to be seen as lines along which information on the state
of the fluid propagates. The uniqueness of the equivalence between Equation (3.10)
on the one hand and Equations (3.7) and (3.8) on the other hand, implies that these
lines along which information propagates are unique lines and that information only
travels along just these characteristics.
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Figure 3.6 Characteristic directions for: (a) and (b) subcritical flow; (c) critical flow and (d)
supercritical flow
For velocities u>0, the characteristic directions no longer have the same magnitude
and, at a particular point, information on the fluid state travels faster in the
downstream then in the upstream direction (Figure 3.6b). For increasing water
velocities this leads to the particular case where the celerity c equals the water
velocity u (Figure 3.6c) and at this point information is no longer able to travel in
the upstream direction. Introducing the Froude number, defined as
u
Fr = (3.18)
gh
it is readily seen that for the situation of Figure (3.6c), where u=c, the Froude
number equals unity. This special case is called critical flow, whereas the cases of
Figures (3.6a, 3.6b), where the Froude numbers are less than unity, represent sub
critical flow. For water velocities exceeding the celerity c, the Froude numbers
exceed unity and the flow is called super critical (Figure 3.6d).
From Figure (3.6) it is readily seen that for the case of sub critical flow, the state of
the fluid at any point of space and at any point in time is controlled by both the
upstream and the downstream conditions. In the case of super critical flow, however,
the state of the fluid is only controlled by the upstream conditions. So, if at any point
A at a channel, we have supercritical flow, downstream control of the conditions at
A is impossible, as long as the super critical state at A is maintained. It should be
noted, however, that this supercritical state may change into a subcritical state when
downstream control, by a weir for example, generates a region of subcritical flow
upstream of the control structure to the extent that this subcritical flow region
reaches point A.
From Figure (3.6) it may also be concluded that it takes a certain time before the
effect of the opening of the gate at the upstream end of an irrigation channel reaches
the point where the water is required. Taking, for example, a channel with stagnant
water at 1 meter depth, giving a celerity of 3.13 m/s, it lasts nearly 1 hour before
additional water reaches a demand point after the further opening of a gate 10 km
upstream.
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Figure 3.7 Regions of determinacy of the state at a point P for various flow conditions
To make these principles even more clear, Figure (3.7) shows various cases of
subcritical and supercritical flow, where the shaded areas show the region of
determinacy of the state at point P. Any disturbance or control within the shaded
region will have some effect on the water velocity and depth at point P, while any
disturbance or control outside the shaded region will not be able to affect conditions
at point P.
The propagation of information along the characteristics will also determine the
initial and boundary condition requirements for the solution inside a computational
domain, bounded in the xt plane by the lines t=0 and t=T and the lines x=0 and
x=L. Referring first to Figure (3.8a), point A at time t=0 receives two characteristics
coming from outside the computational domain. If point A would have been located
inside the computational domain, the solution would have followed from the
Riemann invariants along the two characteristics passing through it, much similar to
the situation sketched in Figure (3.5). With A located at the boundary of the
computational domain, it is can be concluded that the information on the Riemann
invariants has to be replaced by initial conditions, as we have no information on the
state of the fluid outside our computational domain and the values of the Riemann
invariants associated with it.
Figure 3.8 Relation between characterisitic directions and the boundary and initial data
requirements
Similarly, at point B in Figure (3.8a), one characteristic arrives from inside the
computational domain and is supposed to carry information from another point
within the computational domain. The other characteristic arrives from outside the
domain, where the computation is not made and the information, which would
normally be passed on via the Riemann invariant, has to be replaced by a boundary
condition. Such boundary condition is usually provided in the form of a given
velocity, water level, discharge or stagedischarge relationship.
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The same applies to point C, where one characteristic carries information from
inside the computational domain, while the other characteristic comes from outside
and requires a boundary condition to replace the information which would otherwise
be provided by its Riemann invariant.
Figure (3.8b) shows the case of supercritical flow with positive u. The problem is
completely upstream controlled and two upstream boundary conditions are needed
for a solution. We define this need as a twopoint boundary condition against a one
point boundary condition for the case of subcritical flow, given in Figure (3.8a).
Initial data requirements are the same as for the subcritical flow case and twopoint
initial data are required for all types of flow. Usually, values for u and h are to be
given.
Figure (3.8c), finally, shows the case of a supercritical flow with velocity u in the
negative xdirection. For the same reasons as pointed out earlier, this system
requires twopoint initial data and twopoint boundary data at the upstream end,
which in this case is located at the point x=L.
This method is based on the construction of a network of points where the state
variables are computed. As shown in Figure (3.5), from a given set of two points on
the network a new point may be constructed by drawing a characteristic of one
family from one point, which intersects with a characteristic of the other family
drawn from the other point. In general, these directions are not known initially, as
they depend on the solution of the state variables at the intersecting point. However,
the solution of these state variables can be found through the Riemann invariants,
even if the exact location of the point is not known yet. The nearly exact direction of
these characteristics can then be drawn based on the average characteristic direction
at the connecting points.
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This assumption serves our exercise, as most gate control operations are based upon
water level sensoring. For a further simplification in this example it is also assumed
that the downstream channel is very long and that the wave, generated by the gate
closure, is not reflected at a downstream side.
Figure 3.9 Hodograph and physical planes for a graphical solution of the computations along
characteristics
For ease of computation the acceleration due to gravity is taken as g=10 m2/s. For
the initial steady state, the following data can be derived:
The disturbance generated by the gate operation will travel in the downstream
direction with a celerity c+=5.00 m/s. This implies, for example, that at a point L
meter downstream of the gate, the flow remains undisturbed over a period of L/c+
seconds.
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As a result, one may expect a steady state region downstream of the gate, shown as
region A in Figure (3.9). This is the region enclosed by the lines (t=0; x 0) and
(x=5.00 t; x 0).
The solution will first be defined at points along the taxis, immediately downstream
of the gate.
As a first step a set of points will be selected and numbered from 1 onward at
intervals of 25 seconds. Subscripts u and d will be used for the locations of these
points upstream and downstream of the gate respectively.
Let us first consider the solution of the problem downstream of the gate. The
solution at point 1d of Figure (3.9) is found by applying the boundary condition
u=0.75 m/s at t=25 s (Figure 4.9b), and the condition that the Riemann invariant J=
7.00 m/s at point 1d, as it keeps its constant value with which it arrives along the
negative characteristic from the steady state region A. The solution of this set of two
equations gives h=1.50 m.
Similarly, the solution at points 2d,3d and 4d is found by applying the velocity
boundary condition combined with the Riemann invariant carried along the negative
characteristic arriving from the steady state region A as:
Table 3.1 Data at various characteristic net points of the physical plane
Point u h q gh c+ c 2 gh J+ J
(m/s) (m) (m2/s) (m/s) (m/s) (m/s) (m/s)
(m/s) (m/s)
0 1.0 1.60 1.600 4.00 5.00 3.00 8.00 9.00 7.00
1d 0.75 1.50 1.125 3.88 4.63 3.13 7.75 8.50 7.00
2d 0.50 1.41 0.705 3.75 4.25 3.25 7.50 8.00 7.00
3d 0.25 1.31 0.328 3.62 3.88 3.37 7.25 7.50 7.00
4d 0.00 1.22 0.000 3.50 3.50 3.50 7.00 7.00 7.00
1u 0.64 1.76 1.125 4.20 4.84 3.56 8.40 9.00 7.76
2u 0.38 1.86 0.705 4.31 4.69 3.93 8.62 9.00 8.24
3u 0.17 1.93 0.328 4.39 4.56 4.22 8.79 9.00 8.62
4u 0.00 2.03 0.000 4.50 4.50 4.50 9.00 9.00 9.00
Let us now turn to points x 0 away from the boundary and draw the positive
characteristic leaving from point 1d. Conditions at all points along this line are given
by the same Riemann invariants: J+ = u+2Ögh = 9.00 m/s and J = u2Ögh = 7.00
m/s. Consequently, the same solution is found at all points along this line, giving
u=0.25 m/s and h=1.50 m. This characteristic, then, is a straight line defined by a
celerity c+ = u1+Ögh1 = 4.63 m/s.
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Similarly, the positive characteristics leaving from points 2,3 and 4 must be straight
lines with celerities of 4.25, 3.88 and 3.50 m/s respectively.
The region between the positive characteristics leaving from points 1d and 4d is
defined as a simple wave region, characterised by straight (positive) characteristics
of one family and curved characteristics of the other family. However, it is not
necessary here to draw the curved c characteristics, as the visualisation of these
lines does not add any essential information on the state of the flow in such a simple
wave region.
For the same reason, only the characteristics bordering a steady state region are
drawn and none of the characteristics inside the steady state region.
Having defined a simple wave region one might define a complex wave region as
one where both families of characteristics are curved lines, indicating that velocities
and depths vary from point to point in both directions. In such a complex wave
region a network of both families of characteristics is drawn. This situation would
occur if the simple wave generated from points 1d to 4d would be reflected against a
downstream boundary as could easily be verified by introducing, for example, a
constant water level condition at a point, say, 400 m downstream of the gate. As will
be explained later, however, we do not want to carry the presentation of the method
of characteristics too far and refer the interested reader to standard text books on the
topic (e.g. Abbott, 1979).
From this procedure it may be concluded that, although the method of characteristics
is generally considered a quite accurate solution of the simplified partial differential
equations describing channel flow, it does not represent an exact solution of these
differential equations. The approximation is in the location of the points of the
network. The solution of the simplified equations at the network points, however, is
exact. The more generally applied finite difference methods, to the contrary, have
exact locations of the network or grid points, while the solution of the equations at
these points, as a rule, are approximations of the true solutions.
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q u h gh 2 gh
m2/s m/s m
m/s m/s
1.125 .60 1.87 4.32 8.65
.70 1.61 4.01 8.02
0.705 .35 2.01 4.48 8.97
.40 1.76 4.20 8.39
0.328 .18 1.82 4.27 8.53
.16 2.05 4.53 9.06
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Figure (3.10) also shows various boundary conditions, which may all easily be
presented in graphical form, such as u given (Figure 4.10c), h given (Figure 3.10d),
a given specific discharge q (Figure 3.10e) and a critical flow condition (Figure
3.10f). This last relation is a special form of a rating curve, or Qh relation, which,
for the simplified channel flow equations, would normally be presented as a uh
relation. The plot of a given specific discharge, as applied at point 2u of Figure
(3.9c), is easily made by selecting a number of uvalues and calculating the
associated h and 2Öghvalues. It should be realised that q should always be plotted
with the appropriate sign.
Also, the line is curved and requires a certain number of computed points in the
expected neighbourhood of intersection for a sufficient accuracy.
Figure 3.10 Various boundary conditions represented graphically in the hodograph plane
We return again to Figure (3.9c), which shows the hodograph plane belonging to the
physical plane of Figure (3.9a). The boundary conditions q=1.125, 0.705 and 0.328
m2/s at points 1, 2 and 3 respectively, are presented by three different lines in the
hodograph plane, whereas the discharge q=0 is represented by the line u=0. The
solutions at points 1u,2u,3u and 4u are shown in the hodograph plane as the
intersections of the lines representing the specific discharge at those points and the
condition J+=9.00 m/s. The characteristics leaving the taxis over the period of the
closure, again, define a simple wave region, with characteristics now converging
towards each other. Further upstream this will lead to the intersection of these c
characteristics. Such intersection of characteristics of the same family leads to two
valued solutions for both u and h at such intersection, or, in other words, to the
formation of a hydraulic jump. It should be realised that the intersection of
characteristics is found here on the basis of the equations which do not contain bed
slope and bed friction. Where these terms are playing a significant role the
computations become more complex and are the subject of another chapter.
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Considering first the upstream side of the gate, the positive Riemann invariant
carried from the steady state region D has to be combined with the condition u=0 at
x=0, for t>0. As shown in the hodograph plane the solution of these two conditions
is u=0 m/s; h=2.03 m. The negative characteristic celerity is c=4.50 m/s, which is
greater than c=3.00 m/s found over the steady state region D.
This difference in celerities leads to the immediate intersection of the negative
characteristic directions just upstream of the gate at t=0 and to the formation of a
positive hydraulic jump.
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Figure 3.11 Method of characteristics for the case of a sudden gate closure
The line representing this propagation in the physical plane separates the steady state
region D from another steady state region C bordered by the line x=0, for t>0 and
the path of the hydraulic jump.
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A similar construction at the downstream side of the gate gives a steady state region
B, where h=1.22 m. Steady state regions A and B give characteristic celerities
c+=5.00 m/s and c+=3.50 m/s respectively, which show diverging directions
originating from point (x=0, t=0). Only at the very origin, a discontinuity is present,
which rapidly spreads along x while travelling downstream. We call such special
form of a discontinuity a negative hydraulic jump and the subsequent simple wave
region a centred simple wave. In this simple wave region the characteristics drawn
can be selected freely and Figure (3.11) shows the choice of some characteristics
representing steps of 10 cm in h.
The results of the computation along x, at T=125 s are shown in Figure (3.11c). The
discontinuity formed at the positive jump and the spreading negative hydraulic jump
in the downstream part are clearly recognised.
However, where the concept of characteristics is very important to us, the method of
characteristics provides us only for simple practical cases with an algorithm for the
computation of unsteady flow systems. For this reason we do not expand here on the
inclusion of energy generating or dissipating terms, such as gravity terms and
bottom friction, especially not for nonuniform channels with irregular topographies.
In this text we also do not show how to include lateral flows. Inclusion of such terms
is much easier and flexibly handled in programmable solution algorithms based on
implicit finite difference schemes, as discussed in Chapter 5.
We will return, however, to the practical use of characteristics in the case of water
hammer and flood propagation simulations.
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3.10.1 Derive Equations (3.1) and (3.3) again for the case where a channel
width b is introduced.
3.10.3 Calculate u and h at point P of Figure (3.5) for the following data:
Point A: u=0.5 m/s; h=3.00 m;
Point B: u=0.6 m/s; h=2.80 m.
3.10.7. Repeat the same exercise for an instantaneous closure of the gate.
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4.1 Introduction
Partial differential equations are introduced when the dependent variables of
differential equations are a function of more than one independent variable. In many
practical applications these independent variables are x for space and t for time. In
this case, derivatives of the dependent variables have fractions both in space and in
time. For this reason we speak about partial derivatives, when dealing with a
derivative along one of these two or more independent variables. Consequently, we
speak about partial differential equations when rates of changes of these dependent
variables are related along the various dependent variables.
· hyperbolic equations;
· parabolic equations; and
· elliptic equations.
The classification of the Equation (s) for a certain problem leads to distinct
differences in which these equations are solved. Typical application areas for these
various classes are:
The difference in type lies in the way in which disturbances propagate from one
point of a given (physical) system to other points. In the case of hyperbolic problems
it takes a definite time before a change of the state of the system at one point
influences the state at another point. The effect of these changes propagates along
socalled characteristics, or lines along which disturbances propagate. An obvious
example is the propagation of flood waves along rivers. Generally, it takes a few
hours or a number of days before a rain event in the upper catchments leads to
floods at locations downstream. In parabolic problems, the effect of a change
somewhere in the system, immediately affects the state everywhere else. In this case,
the characteristics travel at an infinite speed.
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In a step further, elliptic problems even have imaginary characteristics only and
these lead to an even more pronounced effect of the influence of the change of the
state at one single point on the state of the total system. Examples are state
descriptions of steady surface water or groundwater flow. It should be realised that
these are rather artificial descriptions, as true steady states do not exist in nature. For
this reason, most parabolic or elliptic problems are solved as if one is dealing with a
hyperbolic problem.
The simplest of the equations of hyperbolic type is the socalled advection equation
(see Equation (4.3)). Advection describes how some quantity, such as mass,
momentum, energy, heat, a pollutant etc. is transported by a carrier, such as water or
air. When dealing with the water sector, there is a variety of problems which can be
described by equations where advection processes play an important role. Examples
are:
· convective momentum term in the unsteady flow equations. Although often not
of much importance in most gradually varied flow situations, the advection term
(or convective momentum term) plays a dominant role in the formation of
hydraulic jumps, including the special appearances of moving hydraulic jumps,
such as tidal bores;
· flood wave propagation, as a special case of the application of unsteady flow
equations. Unsteady river or channel flow is described by the De Saint Venant
equations. These form a set of second order partial differential equations of
hyperbolic type with two characteristic directions. In the most common case of
sub critical flow, these characteristics have opposite directions. In the special
case of flood wave propagation along rivers, gravity and friction play a dominant
role. This results in the emergence of an underlying simplified advection
diffusion equation, of which the advection part is only first order hyperbolic. The
characteristic direction of this part is shown to us by the propagation celerity of
the flood wave peak;
· in hydrology also the movement of groundwater in the unsaturated zone is
based upon a combination of advection and diffusion processes, generally
described by the Richards equation. The advection part of this equation is driven
by gravity and by soil suction forces (matric forces). Due to the complex relation
between soil permeability and soil moisture, the process is extremely nonlinear,
leading to the propagation of soil moisture shock fronts, much similar to the
propagation of hydraulic jumps in free surface flow;
· transport and dispersion of substances in water. A good description of these
processes is essential for the assessment of water quality processes, such as the
spreading of pollutants and heat, growth of algae, sedimentation processes etc.
An important element of this description, again, is the advection part of the
advectiondispersion equation.
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Figure 4.1 Control element for the derivation of the advection equation.
As a first step, the equation of mass conservation for water is derived. referring to
Figure (4.1), the mass balance for a control element with length dx along the xaxis
is set up by defining the change in storage to be equal to the difference between
inflow and outflow, or over a time period dt,
¶ ì é ¶ ü
( rV ) dt = í rQ  ê rQ + ( rQ ) dx ùú ý dt
¶t î ë ¶x ûþ
Replacing the volume V by the product of crosssectional area A and distance step
dx it is found, for constant density , that
¶A ¶Q
+ =0 (4.1)
¶t ¶x
In a similar way, the mass balance for a conservative matter in the water with
concentration c can be derived as
¶ ¶
( Ac ) + ( Qc ) = 0 (4.2)
¶t ¶x
or, after differentiating out the terms of this equation and substituting Equation (4.1),
¶c ¶c
+u = 0 (4.3)
¶t ¶x
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for flow is equal to the crosssectional area representing storage. Equation (4.3) is
valid at every point of the xt plane and shows the relation at the solution surface
between the tangent in xdirection (to the function which shows the distribution of c
along the river at a fixed time) and the tangent in tdirection (to the function showing
how c varies in time at a fixed point along the channel).
¶c ¶c
dc = dt + dx (4.4)
¶t ¶x
This equation simply states how the variation of c in any direction in the xt plane is
composed of variations of c along the t and xaxis, respectively. Division by dt
shows that, by equivalence of the Equations (4.3) and (4.4) along the line
dx
= u (4.5)
dt
dc
= 0 (4.6)
dt
or, after integration of Equation (4.6), that c remains constant along this line. The
line defined by Equation (4.5) is called the characteristic of Equation (4.3). In
Figure (4.2) it is shown how a solution of Equation (4.3) is obtained, for the simple
case where u=constant and where, consequently, the characteristics are parallel lines
in the xt plane.
Figure 4.2 Solution of the advection equation with the method of characteristics.
It is also seen that a solution is only obtained when in the computational domain
initial data are defined along the line t=0 and, where an upstream boundary is
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present, also boundary data along the line x=0. As will be shown later, these
characteristics play an important role in defining where initial and boundary data
are required, as well as the number and the type of these conditions. For practical
applications the method of characteristics is not often applied in this form, mainly
because it has the disadvantage that it is not based upon a fixed grid in space.
This makes it more complicated to include in the solution such processes as sources
and sinks, decay and diffusion, which will be discussed later.
¶c cin  cin1
@ backward difference approximation;
¶x Dx
¶c ci +1  cin1
n
@ centred difference approximation;
¶x 2Dx
¶c ci +1  cin
n
@ forward difference approximation.
¶x Dx
Figure 4.3 Grid for defining finite difference schemes of the advection equation.
In a similar way finite difference approximations for c/ t can be defined. For the
advection scheme these approximations can be combined to nine possible finite
difference schemes, already. This number even increases when combinations of 1),
2) and 3) are made by introducing, for example, other time levels than n t. Not all
these schemes will give satisfactory results and it is needed, therefore, to define
criteria for judging which scheme can be selected as the best out of the large number
of possible schemes.
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This relation can be represented graphically by the operator shown in Figure (4.4).
Figure 4.4 Operator for the scheme of Equation Error! Reference source not found..
A solution using this scheme is shown in Figure (4.5) for the following data:
u = 0.0185 m/s;
x = 100 m;
t = 0.75 hours.
Upstream boundary data are set as c=0 and the initial data are given by the Gaussian
distribution of the form
xm 2
½ ( )
c = e s
(4.9)
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Figure 4.5 Numerical solution of the advection equation using the scheme given by Equation (4.8)
with r=½ and various values for x.
Figure (4.5) shows the effect of varying numerical parameters on the solution. The
exact solution is defined by a shift of the initial Gaussian distribution over 400 m
along the xaxis. Numerically, the same solution is found for r=l. For r=½ the wave
is strongly dampened. This effect is called numerical diffusion of the wave. The
figure also shows that a smaller value for x, while maintaining the same value r=½,
reduces the numerical diffusion. For a value r=2 the solution will not look realistic.
Negative values for c are found as well as values greater than 1. These values cannot
possibly be correct as the method of characteristics shows that in the absence of
source and sink terms extreme values for c are found along the boundaries where
characteristics enter the computational domain. The problems faced here are related
to the stability of the scheme.
It is clear that not only the choice of a specific scheme is important for obtaining
good results in a computation, but also the choice of the numerical parameters, such
as x and t, for that scheme. The accuracy aspects of a particular scheme can be
judged by writing each term in a Taylor's series expansion from the selected centre
point of the scheme. At the centre point (i,n) we obtain for the scheme given by
Equation (4.8):
n n n
n +1 Dt æ ¶c ö Dt 2 æ ¶ 2 c ö Dt 3 æ ¶ 3 c ö
c i = c + n
i ç ÷ + ç ÷ + ç ÷ + h.o.t .
1! è ¶t øi 2! è ¶t 2 øi 3! è ¶t 3 ø i
and
= c +
Dx æ ¶c ö
n
Dx 2 æ ¶ 2 c ö ( Dx 3 ) æ ¶ 3c ö
n n
ç ÷ + ÷ + ÷ + h.o.t .
n n
c i 1 i ç ç
1! è ¶x øi 2! è ¶x 2 øi 3! è ¶x3 øi
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where h.o.t. stands for higher order terms. Collecting terms in Equation (4.8) and
dividing by t gives at point (i,n):
¶c ¶c Dt ¶ 2 c r Dx 2 ¶ 2c Dt 2 ¶ 3c r Dx 3 ¶ 3c
+u = +   + h.o.t. (4.10)
¶t ¶x 2 ¶t 2 2Dt ¶x 2 6 ¶t 3 6Dt ¶x 3
The right hand side of this equation is called the truncation error of the finite
difference scheme. It can be concluded that by using the scheme of Equation (4.8),
another equation, containing higher order derivatives, is solved than the differential
equation (4.3). For looking more closely at the lowest order terms of the truncation
error, Equation (4.3) is differentiated with respect to t to give, for constant u,
¶ 2c ¶ 2c ¶ 2c ¶ 2c
= u = u = u2
¶t 2 ¶x¶t ¶t ¶x ¶x 2
¶c ¶c ¶ 2c
+u = ½u Dx (1  r ) + h.o.t. (4.11)
¶t ¶x ¶x 2
Referring already to Equation (4.17), it will be shown in Chapter 4 that this equation
adds diffusion to the advection equation. For the example of Figure (4.5), with r = ½
and x = 100 m, the numerical diffusion coefficient is 0.463 m2/s. Comparison of
Figure (4.5) with Figure (4.9) of § 4.7 confirms the magnitude of the diffusive effect
of the truncation error.
Equation (4.11) shows, furthermore, that the lowest order term of the truncation
error goes to zero for r=1. The computed results for r = l indicate that a further
substitution will cancel out all the higher order terms in the truncation error for this
specific value of r, to give the exact solution of the differential equation. For values r
= ½ the numerical diffusion can be reduced by taking smaller and smaller values for
x. In the limit, for x > 0, the truncation error will go to zero (see Equation
(4.11)) so that the numerical solution converges towards the true solution of
Equation (4.3). This convergence will not be found for the solutions with r=2. It can
be shown that for this rvalue subsequent reduction of x will give a solution
deviating more and more from the true solution. The results become more and more
unstable. There are several ways in which this stability problem can be investigated:
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Ad 2) The exact solution of Equation (4.3) shows that extremes in the computational
domain should always remain between minimum and maximum values given at the
boundaries of this domain. It can be shown that the scheme, indeed, gives values
which are limited by the extremes at the boundaries for r 1 (Abbott, 1979).
where
im = indicator for imaginary numbers;
k = wave component number;
n
k = wave amplitude at time level n t;
L = length of the computational domain along x;
ii = highest grid point number over domain L.
Stability of the solution is guaranteed if, in the transformation of the solution from
time level n t to time level (n+l) t by the scheme, none of the wave amplitudes kn
are amplified. Substitution of Equation (4.12) into Equation (4.8) gives
i
im k p ì im k i 1p im k p ü
i
x kn +1 e ii
= x kn íre ii + (1  r ) e ii ý
î þ
or
x kn +1 k
im p
Ak = = 1 r + e ii
(4.13)
x kn
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For a specific wave component the amplification Ak is defined as the length of the
vector composed of the real and imaginary parts of Equation (4.13). From Figure
(4.6) it can be concluded that Ak 1 for r 1.
Figure 4.6 Argand wave amplification diagram for the scheme of Equation (4.8)
i => 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
x (m) => 0 100 200 300 400 500 600 700 800 900 1000
n t (s)
0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
1 200 0 1 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2 400 0 1 4 4 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
3 600 0 1 6 12 8 0 0 0 0 0 0
4 800 0 1 8 24 32 16 0 0 0 0 0
5 1000 0 1 10 40 80 80 32 0 0 0 0
6 1200 0 1 12 60 160 240 192 64 0 0 0
7 1400 0 1 14 84 280 560 672 448 128 0 0
8 1600 0 1 16 112 448 1120 1792 1792 1024 256 0
9 1800 0 1 18 144 672 2016 4032 5376 4608 2304 512
10 2000 0 1 20 180 960 3360 8064 #### #### #### 5120
11 2200 0 1 22 220 1320 5280 #### #### #### #### ####
12 2400 0 1 24 264 1760 7920 #### #### #### #### ####
13 2600 0 1 26 312 2288 #### #### #### #### #### ####
14 2800 0 1 28 364 2912 #### #### #### #### #### ####
15 3000 0 1 30 420 3640 #### #### #### #### #### ####
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Higher accuracy schemes introduce the need to define relations between more grid
points. Programming wise this may lead to a rather complicated organisation. For a
relatively clear and accurate procedure we will return now to the method of
characteristics. For the fixed grid, as shown in Figure (4.7), one may follow the
characteristic line from grid point (i,n+l) back to the time level n t.
As the value for c remains constant along this characteristic, the accuracy of the
solution technique depends on the accurate positioning of the intersection point at
time level n t and on an accurate interpolation. For a constant velocity u and a
linear interpolation between cvalues at points (il,n) and (i,n) it is found that
uDt n Dx  u Dt n
cin +1 = ci 1 + ci
Dx Dx
This relation is equivalent to the finite difference scheme given by Equation (4.8).
The advantage of this method is that it can be extended to Courant numbers greater
than unity (r>1; see Figure (4.7). An improvement of the accuracy is obtained by
using a cubic spline function interpolation (Preissmann and Holly, 1977). In this
interpolation not only the values for c are used at the grid points (il,n) and (i,n), but
also their first derivatives in x. The interpolation is than given by
n n
æ ¶c ö æ ¶c ö
c n +1
i = ac n
1 i 1 + a c + a3 ç ÷ + a 4 ç ÷
n
2 i (4.14)
è ¶x øi 1 è ¶x øi
with
a1 = r 2 (3  2r )
a 2 = 1  a1
(4.15)
a 3 = r 2 (1  r )Dx
a 4 =  r (1  r ) 2 Dx
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¶c cin+1  cin1
@ (4.16)
¶x 2Dx
The results obtained with this method of characteristics, using cubic spline functions
for interpolation, show a rather low numerical diffusion. However, some parasitic
waves still appear in the tail of the function.
¶c
Tdispersion =  DA
¶x
¶ ¶ ¶ ¶c
( Ac ) + ( Qc ) =  æç  DA ö÷
¶t ¶x ¶x è ¶x ø
or, assuming that the effects of spatial variation in crosssection and diffusion
coefficients can be neglected,
¶c ¶c ¶ 2c
+u = D (4.17)
¶t ¶x ¶x 2
( x ut )2
M0 
c ( x, t ) = e 4 Dt
(4.18)
2 A (p Dt )
½
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defined as a Dirac delta distribution, which tends to be dispersed along the channel
axis as a Gaussian distribution with mean value =x+ut and with a standard
deviation = 4Dt .
For an initial Gaussian distribution the value of 0 can be transformed into a value,
defined as the time which it would have taken to come from a delta distribution to
the given Gaussian form. This leads to
s 02
t0 = (4.19)
4D
{x ( x0 +ut )}
2

M0 4 D ( t0 + t )
c ( x, t ) = e (4.20)
2 A {p D ( t0 + t )}
½
where M0, in this case, is the total mass of the tracer integrated along the channel
section at time t=0.
More general, again, practical solutions are found with finite difference
approximations, which will be demonstrate here, in the first instance, on a scheme
for the diffusion part of the equation only, given by
¶c ¶ 2c
= D (4.21)
¶t ¶x 2
Figure 4.8 Operator for an explicit scheme for the diffusion equation.
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The time derivative can be given as a forward finite difference approximation in the
form
¶c cin +1  cin
@
¶t Dt
n n
æ ¶c ö æ ¶c ö
ç ÷ ç ÷
¶ 2c ¶ æ ¶c ö è ¶x øi +½ è ¶x øi ½
= ç ÷ @ @
¶x 2 ¶x è ¶x ø Dx
æ cin+1  cin ö æ cin  cin1 ö
ç ÷ç ÷
è Dx ø è Dx ø =
cin1  2cin + cin+1
Dx Dx 2
Substitution of these finite difference approximations into Equation (4.21) gives the
scheme, with cjn+1 expressed in terms of variables at time level n t,
where
Dt
r = D (4.23)
Dx 2
As the value at grid point (i,n+l) is computed explicitly from known values at time
level n t, it is customary to call this an explicit scheme. At a later stage we will
introduce a somewhat refined definition for the types of finite difference schemes. A
Taylor's series development shows that, in reality, we are solving with the finite
difference scheme (4.22) the equation
¶c ¶ 2c Dt ¶ 2 c 1 2 ¶ c
4
D 2 = + D Dx + h.o.t.
¶t ¶x 2 ¶t 2 12 ¶x 4
An analysis similar to the one for the advection equation leads to the cancellation of
the lowest order terms in the truncation error for r=1/6. However, for this same value
of r, cancellation of the higher order terms does not occur. A complete analysis will
lead to the conclusion that, for this scheme, it is impossible to find any rvalue which
will produce the exact solution.
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Figure 4.9 Results with the numerical scheme of Equation (4.22) for various values of r.
Consistent with the theory of partial differential equations, the solution requires one
point initial data at t=0 and one point boundary data at x=0 and x=L. In the case of
this example, constant values c=0 have been set at both boundaries. For the second
order space derivative of this parabolic partial differential equation, both boundary
data could also have been given as first order derivatives of c along x.
In Figure (4.9), a comparison is shown between the exact solution for this problem
and numerical solutions obtained for different grid steps. With respect to the choice
of the grid steps it is interesting to note that, unlike for the advection scheme, the
highest accuracy is not found at the limit of stability. For practical applications it is
best to choose a grid which gives rvalues around 1/6. However, Figure (4.9) also
shows that the differences are minor. This is certainly true when compared with the
sensitivity of numerical parameters in advection schemes. In all cases, it is important
to make sure that the stability limit r=½ is never exceeded. The existance of such
limit can be investigated again with a Fourier series analysis, to give an
amplification factor
kmDx
A = 1  4r sin 2 (4.24)
2
so that, since the sin2term is definite positive, the stability condition A 1 implies
that
r £ ½ (4.25)
or
Dx 2
Dt £ (4.26)
2D
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D = ½u Dx (1  r ) (4.27)
¶c ¶c
+u = 0 (4.28)
¶t advection ¶x
is solved, so as to give the cvalues at (n+l) t resulting from transport alone, while
as a second step the equation
æ ¶c ö ¶c æ ¶c ö ¶ 2c
ç ÷ = ç ÷ = D (4.29)
è ¶t ø dispersion ¶t è ¶t ø advection ¶x 2
is solved, giving the complete solution for advection and dispersion together.
Equation (4.28) can, again, be solved with the fixed grid characteristic method using
the spline function interpolation (see Equation (4.14)), giving intermediate values cj*
defined by advection alone. Subsequently, the dispersion step can be given in the
finite difference form as
or
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¶c ¶c ¶c ¶ 2c ¶ 2c
+u +v = Dx + D y (4.31)
¶t ¶x ¶y ¶x 2 ¶y 2
1) advection along x;
2) advection along y;
3) dispersion along x;
4) dispersion along y.
cin +1  cin
Dt
@
D
Dx 2
{ }
(1  q ) ( cin1  2cin + cin+1 ) + q ( cin+11  2cin+1 + cin++11 ) (4.32)
where defines a weighting of the space derivative between the time levels n t and
(n+1) t. This equation can be rewritten to the form
where
ai =  q r
bi = 1 + 2q r
(4.34)
g i = q r
di = (1  q ) r cin1 + (1  2r (1  q ) ) cin + (1  q ) r cin+1
As an alternative, the implicit finite difference scheme may be written in terms of
changes c from time level n t to (n+1) t as
Dci
Dt
@
D
Dx 2
{( c
n
i 1 }
 2cin + cin+1 ) + q ( Dci 1  2Dci + Dci +1 ) (4.35)
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Figure 4.10 Grid for the implicit scheme of the diffusion equation
The system of Equations (4.33) can be solved with the double sweep algorithm, a
special form of the Gauss elimination, based upon tridiagonal materices. In this
algorithm, in a first sweep the coefficients in the lower diagonal are eliminated,
starting with the left hand boundary condition. In a second sweep values for the
unknows are computed, by subsequently eliminating the upper diagonal coefficients.
Figure 4.11 Schematic presentation of the tridiagonal double sweep matrix solution algorithm
Schematically, the algorithm is presented in Figure (4.10). Assuming the left hand
and right hand boundary conditions, respectively, to be of the form
b 0 c0 + g 0 c1 = d0 (4.36)
a ii cii 1 + bii cii = d ii (4.37)
with the new coefficients in the matrix (now marked with a superscript *), computed
from grid point 1 until ii1 by the relations
g d i  ad i*1
g i* = ; d i* = (4.39)
b  ag i*1 b  ag i*1
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For the more general case of nonlinear equations, with coefficients derived as a
function of x, also the coeficients , and in Equation (4.33) will get a subscript i.
These subscripts will than also appear in the relations given by Equation (4.39).
The elimination is started by assigning the starting values for the new coefficients at
grid point 0 by substitution of the boundary relation given by Equation (4.36) into
Equation (4.33) applied at gid point 1, giving
g0 d0
g 0* = ; d 0* = (4.40)
b0 b0
The same result would also have been obtained simply by setting the value of 0 to
zero in Equation (4.39). In this case the assignment of new values for i* and i*
could have started at grid point 0 instead of 1.
After completion of the first sweep, the right hand boundary value is obtained by
substitution of the boundary relation given by Equation (4.37) into Equation (4.39)
at point ii1. Successive back substitution (back sweep) of the values for c leads to
the overall solution of the system of equations.
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5.1 Introduction
In Chapter 3 the unsteady channel flow equations were introduced for canals with
simple rectangular crosssections. These equations will now be extended to the more
general case of irregular crosssections. In this approach, the flow in rivers and other
type of channels is assumed to be correctly defined by the state variables or
dependent variables discharge, Q and water level, as a function of the independent
variables t for time and x for space.
· the discharge is sufficiently well defined as the integral of the velocities through
a crosssection, perpendicular to the xaxis and perpendicular to the flow
velocity vectors in the flood plain;
· the water level is constant along the crosssection. This implies that at any time
the water level at all points along a given crosssection should rise or fall at the
same rate. This assumption is generally justified when the widths of river and
flood plain are of the same scale and free of obstacles such as natural levees or
embankments;
· the water level slope or gradient in the xdirection is constant along the cross
section. However, it should be noted that in case this condition is not satisfied,
correction factors may be applied to reduce significantly errors in the model
parameters, as discussed in this contribution.
Quantitative analysis of the two state variables requires two independent equations.
Usually, the following equations are used:
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¶As ¶Q
+ = ql (5.1)
¶t ¶x
1 ¶Q ¶ Q 2 ¶z Q Q
{ + ( ) }+ + 2 = 0 (5.2)
gA ¶t ¶x A ¶x K
where As is the crosssectional area representative for storage over a control volume
(m2), t the time (s), Q the discharge (m3/s), x the position along the channel axis (m),
ql the lateral discharge per unit length of channel (m2/s), A the flow conveying cross
sectional area (m2), the stage or water level above a selected horizontal reference
plane (m) and K the channel conveyance (m3/s). The meaning of the parameters in
these equations becomes clear when we follow the derivation of these equations.
Figure 5.1 Control volume for the derivation of the continuity equation
From Figure (5.1) it is readily seen that the following volume conservation equation
holds:
¶V ¶Q
+ dx = ql dx
¶t ¶x
As for each control volume between two successive points along x, the volume is a
function of the water level, the following substitution can be made
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¶V dV ¶V ¶V ¶V
= = Asurf = b s dx (5.3)
¶t d V ¶t ¶t ¶t
where Asurf is the storage area in the horizontal plane defined between two
successive control sections. It is common practice, however, to define the storage as
a crosssection property. For this reason, we usually transform the parameter Asurf to
a parameter linked to a crosssection, by introducing a storage width bs of the
channel. This level dependent channel crosssection storage parameter bs is defined
as Asurf (for a given level) divided by the distance between two successive control
sections (Equation (5.3)). This definition leads to the continuity equation of the
commonly used form
¶V ¶Q
bs + = ql (5.4)
¶t ¶x
Integration of bs over the height of the crosssection leads to the definition of the
storage crosssection
V
As (V ) = ò b dzs (5.5)
zb
as introduced earlier in Equation (5.1). It should be realised that the storage cross
section parameters bs and As are often different from the parameters B and A used in
the momentum equation (see § 5.3). These differences will be discussed in more
detail in § 5.7.
The second important parameter in the continuity equation is the lateral flow.
Examples of lateral flow contributions, either positive or negative, are:
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¶ ¶ ¶h
(uh) + ( u 2h) + gh = 0 (5.6)
¶t ¶x ¶x
where is the Boussinesq coefficient of velocity distribution. It corrects for the fact
that we have used the average flow velocity u in the integration of the momentum
carried by the flow through the crosssection, instead of the local velocities.
Consequently, the value of is greater than unity. It should be noted that the
importance of this convective momentum term is generally limited and in most
practical applications the value of ß is simply set to unity. In some practical
applications the value of ß is even set to zero, which means that the complete term is
neglected (see diffusive wave approximation of Chapter 6).
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Integration of the second component leads to the combined hydrostatic pressure and
gravity term
B B
¶V ¶V ¶V
òO g h j ¶x dy = g ¶x ò h dy
O
j = gA
¶x
In the integration it has been assumed that the term (zb+h)/ x, or x, is constant
across the section. In order to separate the effects of hydrostatic pressure gradients
and gravity, the term can be split up again on the basis of a kind of representative
depth hr above a representative bottom level zbr as follows
¶V æ ¶z ¶h ö æ ¶h ö
gA = gA ç br + r ÷ = gA ç I 0 r + r ÷ (5.7)
¶x è ¶x ¶x ø è ¶x ø
It can be concluded from Equation (5.7) that the way in which we define this bottom
level does not affect the results of computations. This definition is a product of our
mind and not that of the river itself. The river feels for its flow only the effect of the
water level slope (combined with crosssectional parameters) and not that of a bed
slope, as such.
Finally, a friction term has to be added. This friction description is rather empirical
and it is common practice to follow the same definition as applying to steady flow.
In steady flow, the bottom friction for sub section j of the crosssection is supposed
to balance the gravity term, or
( t bottom) j = r g h j I o
1/ 2
u j = Cj h j Io
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1
u j= hj2/3 I0
nj
Proceeding with the Manning relationship and taking into account the side slope of
the bottom profile, the local depth is generally replaced by a local hydraulic radius
Rj, giving
1
u j= R j 2/3 I0
nj
For unsteady flow, the slope expressed by this shear force relation deviates from the
bottom slope and for each sub section a friction slope may be introduced defined as
2
u 2j A2j Qj
If = 2
= 2
æ1 2/3
ö Kj
çç Aj R j ÷÷
è nj ø
2
Q
If = 2
(5.8)
K
jj
1
K = ån
j =1 j
Aj R j 2 / 3 (5.9)
with the wet perimeter Pj representing the contact length of water and channel bed.
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It should be remarked that the concept of a wet perimeter is based on the assumption
that the shear force is equal at all points along this perimeter. This is approximately
true for a small subsection or slice of the channel crosssection. However, it is not
true for the complete crosssection, as the local shear force is a linear function of the
local depth. It is, therefore, strongly advised not to use the concept of the hydraulic
radius for rather irregular crosssections. For such sections one should always work
with the concept of the conveyance, or discharge capacity K, obtained through the
integration of the local conveyance across the section.
In the special cases where the hydraulic radius concept can be used for the oveall
crosssection, the Manning and Chezy coefficients are related through
1
Q = K I = AR 2 / 3 I (5.11)
n
and
Q = K I = CAR 1/ 2 I (5.12)
1 1/ 6 1 1/ 6
C = R ; or n = R (5.13)
n C
It is quite well accepted that the Manning coefficient is more constant with depth
than the Chezy coefficient. Especially at relatively low flow depth, such as occurring
on flood plains, it is recommended to use the Manning coefficient for the friction
description.
The terms of the momentum equation can now be collected to give the form
2
¶Q ¶ Q ¶h QQ
+ (b ) + gA r + gAI 0 r + gA = 0 (5.14)
¶t ¶x A ¶x K
2
1 ¶Q ¶ Q 2 ¶h QQ
{ + ( ) } + r + I0r + 2 = 0 (5.15)
gA ¶t ¶x A ¶x 1424 K3
144 42444 3
kinematic wave
14444444 4244444444
diffusive wave
3
dynamic wave
which is equivalent to Equation (5.2). Equation (5.12) also shows how the
momentum term can be simplified when some parts of this equation are of lesser
importance. These kinematic wave and diffusive wave approximations will be
discussed in § 6.4.
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Numerical methods for the de Saint Venant equations may be based upon socalled
staggered and nonstaggered schemes. The first category represents formulations
where the dependent variables Q and are defined alternatingly at successive grid
points along the xaxis. For nonstaggered schemes, however, the variables Q and
are defined at the same grid points. At first sight this last definition offers
advantages through the availability of the state variables discharge and water level at
the same points along the channel axis. It has been shown, however, that the
staggered grid approach offers distinct advantages over nonstaggered grids by
guaranteeing the convergence of numerical solutions and the better ability to handle
flooding and drying of grid sections, as shown by Stelling et al. (1998).
For the numerical solution of the de Saint Venant Equations (5.1) and (5.2), we will
consider their Eulerian form per unit width of channel by first neglecting the lateral
flow and further simplifying the equations to
¶V ¶ (uh)
+ =0 (5.16)
¶t ¶x
and
¶u ¶u ¶V uu
+u +g + cf =0 (5.17)
¶t ¶x ¶x h
where is the water level defined as = h+zb with h defined as the local water depth
(m) and zb as the local bottom level (m), u the flow velocity (m/s) and cf the
dimensionless bottom friction coefficient.
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Referring to Figure 1 and to Stelling and Duinmeijer (2003) for further details, the
staggered grid approach requires that alternatingly at  and upoints, Equations
(5.16) and (5.17) are transformed into finite difference form (see also Abbott (1979),
Cunge et al. (1986), Hirsch (1990) and Toro (1999)). Taking a point as the only
feasible choice for the transformation of the continuity equation, the finite
difference form relates three successive unknowns uin+1/1 2 , V in +1 and uin++1/1 2 defined at
the time level (n+1) t to known values at time level n t as
The symbol * in Equation (5.18) indicates that the value of h at this grid point has to
be approximated by its nearest available upstream value along the grid. For a
positive flow direction, for example, this means that hi+½ is approximated by the
value of hi.
where 1i, 1i, 1i and 1i are the coefficients of the linearized implicit finite
difference scheme.
Equation (5.18) can also be rewritten to provide a choice of time step that guarantees
the computation of positive water depths, as follows
æ Dt ö n n +q Dt
hin +1 = ç1  uin++1/q 2 ÷ hi + ui 1/ 2 hin1 (5.21)
è Dx ø Dx
For
Equation (5.21) shows that for these positive water velocities and for positive water
depths, the velocity Courant number condition
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Dt Dx
uin++1/q 2 £ 1; or Dt £ (5.23)
Dx uin++1/q 2
can be applied to provide a sufficient condition for obtaining positive water depths at
the new time level. This implies that for the time step limitation of Equation (5.23)
newly computed water levels can never fall below the bottom of the channel. As a
consequence, no artificial bottom slots or other arrangements are required to avoid
numerical robustness problems for small water depths. A similar condition can be
derived for negative flow directions.
Following the same procedure as applied to the continuity equation, the momentum
Equation (5.17) can now be defined at a velocity point, by the finite difference form
where the symbol * has the same meaning as in Equation (5.18) and a(un,un) is a
generalization of the discretization of the convective momentum term.
¶u 1 ì ¶ (uq) ¶q ü
u = í u ý (5.25)
¶x h î ¶x ¶x þ
1 æ ui +1 q i +1  ui q i ö
* *
¶u q q
u ; ç  ui +1/ 2 i +1 i ÷ (5.26)
¶x hi +1/ 2 çè Dx Dx ÷
ø
where
hi + hi +1 q +q
hi +1/ 2 = ; q i = i 1/ 2 i +1/ 2 and qi +1/ 2 = *hi +1/ 2ui +1/ 2
2 2
Also here the value of *h has the same meaning as in Equation (5.18) The values of
*
ui are missing at points on the grid and are approximated by first order unwinding
as
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_
¶u q æu u ö
u ; _ i ç i +1/ 2 i 1/ 2 ÷ (5.28)
¶x h è Dx ø
i +1/ 2
¶u ¶V ¶ æ u2 ö
u +g =g ç +V ÷ (5.29)
¶x ¶x ¶x è 2 g ø
and, for positive values of u, the energy head conservative upwind discretization
¶u ui2+1/ 2  ui21/ 2 1 æu u ö
u ; = ( ui 1/ 2 + ui +1/ 2 ) ç i +1/ 2 i 1/ 2 ÷ (5.30)
¶x 2Dx 2 è Dx ø
For negative flow velocity, this complete expression is shifted one grid point in the
positive xdirection. Comparison of Equations (5.28) and (5.30) leads to the
conclusion that the difference in obtaining momentum or energy conservation lies in
the way in which the convective velocity of momentum is interpolated from the flow
field.
Terms in Equation (5.24) including (5.26) or (5.30) can be collected to give the
generalized relation
The numerical discretization is second order accurate for all terms of the de Saint
Venant equations, except for the convective momentum term, which is first order
accurate. For many practical applications the convective momentum term is of lesser
importance and this lower discretization accuracy is quite acceptable then. However,
nearly second order accuracy can be achieved by up winded second order
extrapolation of uvalues, combined with slope limiters, as described by Stelling and
Duinmeijer (2003), again.
In rapidly varied flow the convective momentum term becomes locally dominant.
Modelling these types of flow requires an appropriate implementation of the
convective momentum term. By doing so, Delft Hydraulics’SOBEK package has
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been enabled the highly accurate and robust modelling of phenomena such as
supercritical flow in steep channels and moving hydraulic jumps.
The numerical scheme given by Equations (5.20) and (5.31) only provides linear
equations at internal grid points. At channel boundaries, additional equations are
required. As the de Saint Venant equations are of second order hyperbolic type, one
boundary condition is required for each of its characteristic lines entering the
computational domain. Boundary condition requirements for 1D river models were
discussed extensively by Cunge, Holly and Verwey (1986). Here we will limit
ourselves by stating that, in most practical applications, inflowing discharges are
specified at the upstream ends of channels entering the flood model domain and
water levels or rating curves at channels leaving the model domain. At internal
boundaries, such as channel junctions, usually a modified continuity equation is
applied, jointly with water level compatibility at all channel boundaries at that
junction.
· in most cases hydraulic structure descriptions are based upon empirical laws
relating the discharge through the structure to the upstream and downstream
water level. The relation has the general form
where up is the water level upstream of the structure (m), Qcrest the discharge
through the structure (m3/s) and down the water level downstream of the
structure (m). This formulation includes the possibility of using energy levels
instead of water levels. Equation (5.33) may be linearized to
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where , , and are the local values of nonlinear coefficients at a given state
of the flow. A wide variety of structure descriptions is available from literature,
e.g. the classical books of Chow (1959), Henderson (1966) and, more recently,
Chanson (1999);
· as an alternative, the state of the flow in the section just upstream of the
structure, where the flow is contracted and vertical accelerations occur, can be
described by an energy conservation principle. Similarly, the state of the flow
just downstream of the structure, where the flow expands with energy losses
associated to it, can be described by a momentum and impulse balance
relationship. By internal elimination of unknowns in these relationships, the
water level at the structure crest or at its most contracted section can be
eliminated and a relation similar to Equation (5.34) is obtained;
· in cases where it is difficult to define the state of the flow in terms of equations,
laboratory experiments may be set up to define a matrix relating upstream and
downstream water levels to the structure discharge. As an alternative, the
structure may be modelled in detail by a 3D numerical code, leading to a similar
set of matrix coefficients. Conditions are that a fine grid is used, and that the
code is based upon an appropriate numerical description of convective
momentum terms and the effect of turbulence.
In all cases shown above, the structure equations could be based upon energy levels,
instead of water levels. Through suitable transformations, these relations can be
reworked to the form of Equation (5.34) Similar descriptions can be made for local
energy loss descriptions along a channel.
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Where appropriate, energy losses may be added to the description of flow in the
contracted section. Internal elimination of local variables leads, again, to a
relationship as given by Equation (5.31) . In all cases, the different flow states only
affect the computation of the coefficients , , and and have no bearing on the
solution algorithm of the resulting system of equations.
The actual model construction will start with the selection of the network branches:
the topological schematisation. In this process it will be decided up to which level of
detail network branches are to be included in the schematization. If too many minor
channels are included, the amount of work in data preparation may be unnecessary
high. In addition, model simulations may become too slow. The practice of good
model construction requires a good insight into the relative importance of these
contributions.
This last point is also important for the correct representation of storage in the
model. Natural levees along rivers may delay the storage in the flood plain and
hence, affect the celerity of flood wave propagation along the river and the
dampening of flood wave peaks.
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· is a storage area well connected to the network? This means, for example, that it
can be fed with the correct conveyances by flow from all relevant directions;
· are there any barriers in the flood plain? If part of the flood plain is schematized
as a storage element, it may contain various embankments or levees. Examples
are levees raised around paddy fields. During floods, part of the described
storage area may not get flooded at all.
Finally, lateral flows may have their impact on the topological schematisation as
follows:
One important decision is the choice of distance step x, which should be based
upon a good representation of the hydraulic processes. The choice is based upon:
· The wave length modelled. A rule of thumb is to model waves with at least 50 to
100 grid point along important wave components;
· The representation of the local variations in hydraulic parameters, such as
sudden contractions and expansions;
· Placement of grid points closely around hydraulic structures or other
discontinuites in the system.
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An advantage of such integration is that each sub section can be given its own
roughness value. Another advantage is that by keeping track of the individual
contribution of the sub sections to the overall conveyance of the channel, computed
discharges can be redistributed across the section to provide water velocities for
each sub section. This ability may be important in simulating water quality or
morphological processes in flood plains where the use of local velocities is required.
In the integration, contributions of sub sections with small conveyance are without
any loss of accuracy added to those of the other sub sections. There is no need to
neglect the conveyance of shallow and highly resistant parts of the crosssections as
these may still give substantial contributions during floods or may be important in
the overall assessment of the morphologic or water quality behaviour.
( DV ) ( DV )
½ jj ½
1
Q = K = ån Aj R j 2/3
( Dx ) ( Dx )
½ ½
j =1 j
j
or
jj
Aj R j 2 / 3
K = å (5.35)
n j ( Dx j / Dx )
½
j =1
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where x is the distance for which the crosssection parameters are representative
along the xaxis and xj a similar value for sub section j.
Storage parameters usually are given as a function of stage and linked to cross
sections. For uniform channels, as often designed in irrigation and drainage systems,
the storage width is equivalent to the flow width. Storage width data are simply
extracted from crosssection information. In natural rivers, however, meandering and
irregular flood plain topography requires more complex procedures. § 5.2 gives an
extensive discussion of the correct definition of the storage width parameter bs. It
follows that storage parameters have to be extracted from information provided by
topographic maps, currently mostly available in the form of digital elevation models
(DEMs) in GIS. For successive compartments along the river axis, approximate water
level slopes have to be assumed to extract from these maps storage area as a function of
stage. Division of these areas by the length of the compartment along the xaxis,
provides the parameter values for bs. For models of lesser economic value, procedures
may be simplified, if needed.
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In other words, the model changes introduced with these scenarios and the resulting
changes of the hydraulic state at the boundaries of the models should not reflect
back on the study area. Exceptions to this rule are rare, but may be justified in some
cases of water quality modelling, for example.
There are various ways in which this can be achieved. Water levels at a sea
boundary of a river model are generally not affected by the river discharge. Usually,
it is safe to use a sea boundary as a boundary location in a river model and provide
water levels as boundary condition.
In other cases it must be guaranteed that the downstream river boundary is located at
a sufficient distance from the area studied. How far, depends on how an error, or a
change in the downstream boundary condition, affects the area under study. In the
first place, this depends on the magnitude of the error or change. In the second place
this depends on the hydraulic characteristics of the river. A good measure for the
required distance is the length of a backwater effect. In case of doubt it is
recommended to do a sensitivity analysis on the effect of an error in the downstream
boundary condition.
At upstream boundaries the same reasoning applies. In this case the scenario applied
should not reflect back on the data or condition applied at the upstream boundary.
Also here, the required distance follows from an analysis of backwater effects.
The type of boundary condition follows from the theory of characteristics, stating
that one boundary condition has to be given for each characteristic entering the
computational domain. In practice, however, this always means that one boundary
condition is given at each boundary of the model. For sub critical flow this is usually
a discharge hydrograph at an upstream end and water levels or a rating curve at a
downstream end.
A rating curve at the upstream end will usually lead to model instabilities as such
condition will be nearly equivalent to the information contained in the channel
topography. In this way, this boundary condition does not provide additional
information that is not already available and the state of the flow remains
undetermined. A rating curve conflicting with the topographic information leads
mathematically to indeterminacy of the solution and hence, to instabilities.
At downstream boundaries, usually water levels or rating curves are given. In river
applications one could define this as a weak boundary condition, as it will be shown
in Chapter 6 that the wave propagating in a river is usually an advection type
phenomenon, only requiring an upstream boundary condition. This implies that for
the use of the full hydrodynamic equations the downstream boundary condition
becomes redundant.
For similar reasons, it is sufficient in practice to give only one upstream boundary
condition for super critical flow. The other condition is already implied in the
relation between topographic data and the water level slopes following from this.
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At the downstream boundary, any condition given, will at worst lead to incorrect
results over a small stretch of the downstream region. As a rule, the downstream
boundary condition given will turn the outflow locally into a state of sub critical
flow.
Initial data are simplest supplied by starting up flow simulations on a dry bed or a
low initial water depth. In the case of tidal models this specification is replaced by a
constant mean sea level initially and zero discharges throughout. In tidal flow,
usually two tidal cycles are sufficient to arrive at a consistent set of initial data, at
least in terms of water levels. Most modelling systems provide the option of
generating a set of consistent initial data and writing this state to a file to be used as
a socalled hotstart file for further simulations.
It is possible, then, that corrections are applied to the wrong parameters and still lead
to reasonable calibration results. As will be shown in Chapter 6, flood wave
propagation celerity and dampening both depend on storage and conveyance. An
error in the storage could, therefore, be corrected through the channel resistance and
still improve calibration results. It is, however, not certain that the same
improvement is maintained under extrapolated conditions.
For river channels, calibration of roughness data should proceed from lower
discharges to higher discharges. Only after the roughness values in the main channel
have been calibrated, those of the flood plain should be determined.
Moreover, one of the principal problems with model calibration is that results that
have been measured during low frequency events, are not very reliable.
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Rating curves for these low frequencies are rather unreliable as measurement
conditions are difficult and the staff of catchment authorities generally have other
worries than getting the most accurate discharge measurements during an extreme
storm event.
Only water levels have a reasonable chance of being reliable, also during extreme
conditions. A possibility, therefore, is the extrapolation of rating curves on the basis
of the use of local 2D models, based upon an accurately measured topography and
calibration of roughness values during the higher frequency events.
However, this approach is not common practice yet. On the other hand, Public
Works in The Netherlands uses detailed 2D models of the flood plains of the
principal rivers for their calibration of 1D models. These 1D models can than be
used with more confidence in the range of extreme events. It should be realised that
this procedure is feasible only if these 2D models are based upon very small size
grid cells.
6.1 Introduction
All over history, floods have challenged scientists and engineers to master this
phenomenon, both by developing mathematical descritions and by taking flood
protection measures. Over the past decades, these efforts even have increased. In the
first place, because a rapidly increasing world population has shown a strong drive
to settle in flood prone coastal zones and river flood plains. In addition, there is an
increasing awareness about climate changes which appear to bring more and more
precipitation to river catchments. There also are numerous intellectual challenges, as
scientific and technological developments in a wide range of fields open up many
new ways of supporting flood related studies. In particular, important progress has
been made in computer speed and in new measuring technologies.
Although numerical methods for solving unsteady flow equations were developed
already half a century ago, e.g. Arakawa (1966), it was only recently that numerical
techniques behind flood simulation models have reached an acceptable level of
perfection. Hydraulic engineers and hydrologists are now able to model flow in
channels and over flood plains, irrespective of their bathymetric or topographic
complexity; irrespective of the number and location of embankments for flood
protection, roads and railways and irrespective of the number and complexity of
hydraulic structures and the way we control these.
In many countries, insurance companies are using flood risk maps, sometimes based
upon relatively simple and quick estimates obtained via simple rules in GIS. In these
cases it is assumed that the value of insured property does not justify the more
complex laws defining the detailed flow of water.
Important criteria for numerical models supporting flood control are accuracy,
flexible schematization options, numerical robustness and consultancy time for
model development and use. Currently, stateoftheart for flood control is the use of
combined 1D and 2D models (e.g. Hesselink, 2003). The former use of flood cells
has been replaced by complete 2D flow descriptions, whereas subgrid channel flow
is still better described in 1D. Flood control models should be based upon reliable
physical descriptions and schematizations, as part of their use is in extrapolation of
calibrated models to extreme situations which have never occurred. One of the
reasons to build models for flood control is the study of downstream impacts,
especially cross border effects. Downstream impacts of flood control are changed
flood wave celerity and changed flood peak attenuation. Higher flood wave
celerities result from deepening of the river and the construction of embankments.
This, in turn, leads to increased peak floods downstream. The construction of flood
retention areas has opposite impacts and may be used to compensate the negative
impacts. Model selection criteria then follow from the detail in which potential
economic, environmental and social impacts have to be studied.
The analysis of floods caused by dam and dike breaks requires extremely robust
numerical methods, especially for the description of flooding of dry areas and the
correct propagation of the wave front. Moreover, model accuracy, partly based upon
the ability to describe the full hydrodynamic equations, is important, as will be
discussed in the section on software and model validation. As dam and dike break
simulations are nearly always made for the prediction of their potential effects, data
for model calibration is rarely available.
The quality of the model fully depends on its descriptive capabilities of the physical
system in terms of topographic and roughness data, the representativeness of the
equations and the numerical methods applied. However, it has to be kept in mind
that the overall model accuracy also follows from the quality of the description of
the dam failure mechanism and the assumptions made here.
Let us first consider the impact of LIDAR. The use of this laser technology,
scanning the earth surface with laser beams from airplanes or helicopters, has
provided the means to generate highly accurate digital elevation models at relative
low cost. As an example, the whole area of The Netherlands has been remapped
over the past years, with an accuracy of approximately 10 cm in the vertical at a
density of 1 point per 16 m2. Total cost of this project was approximately 10 million
euro, or approximately 250 euro per km2 (Verwey, 2001). This new topographic
information has been essential for the flood risk analyses and the evacuation
planning studies mentioned earlier.
Also river bathymetries are obtained at relative low cost now by boats equipped with
multibeam echo sounders. Also here, the position of the boat is recorded via DPGS,
while the spatial sound signals record bottom depths relative to the boat at an
accuracy of approximately 10 cm in the vertical. At a typical boat speed of 4 m/s and
a swat width of the order of magnitude of the river depth, the bathymetry of quite
large river beds can be obtained in a few days. Experiments are also being made
with laser beams in the green range, as these are able to pass through clean water
and enable the application of LIDAR technology also for river bathymetries.
In similar ways other technologies are advancing rapidly enabling large amounts of
data to be collected at relatively low cost.
Worth mentioning are the ADCP (Acoustic Doppler Current Profiler) technology for
tidal discharge measurements and the increased precision of spatially distributed
precipitation measurements with radar.
¶Q ¶Q
+c =0 (6.1)
¶t ¶x
1 dQ
c= (6.2)
bs dh
The first order partial differential equation (6.1) also expresses that along its
characteristic celerity c the discharge remains constant, and so does the peak of the
flood wave. In other words: there is no dampening effect of the flood peak. Though
this is approximately true for rivers with steep slopes, the stretches with milder
slopes require a lesser simplification of the De Saint Venant equations. Following,
for example, Chaudhry (1993) and defining I of Equation (5.11) as the water level
slope z, substitution of the last three terms of Equation (5.15) into Equation (5.1)
gives the socalled diffusive wave approximation
¶Q ¶Q ¶ 2Q
+c =D 2 (6.3)
¶t ¶x ¶x
K
D= (6.4)
2bs I
Including the lateral flow term the diffusive wave approximation reads
¶Q ¶Q ¶ 2Q
+c = D 2 + cq (6.5)
¶t ¶x ¶x
Returning to Equation (5.15) again, the variable I represents the bed slope in the
case of the kinematic wave approximation and the water level slope in the case of
the diffusive wave approximation. The description based upon the full set of
Equations (5.1) and (5.15) is defined as the full dynamic wave description.
Returning to Equation (6.2), it is readily seen that for constant celerity at all water
levels, there is no deformation of the flood waves. The waves are just translated
along the river axis. However, in practice the wave celerity c generally increases
with increasing river discharge, especially when the river banks are steep (Figure
6.1a). Moreover, when the flood waves arrive at bank level, the storage width often
increases more rapidly than the increase in dQ/dh, resulting in a temporary dip in
this celerity function (Figure 6.1b). When the water level rises further, the celerities
start increasing again.
The higher celerities for increasing discharges cause a steepening of the wave at the
front and a stretching of the falling limb of the flood hydrograph (Figure 6.2). This is
the most common form of flood wave deformation in natural river systems.
Figure 6.2 Flood wave deformations resulting from celerity varying with stage
Equation (6.3) shows that along the characteristic line c=dx/dt the flood peaks are
dampened by the integral of the diffusion term. As the diffusive wave approximation
of the De Saint Venant equations may include other effects as well (e.g. the form of
Equation (6.5)), extending the number of terms of the right hand side, we will
discuss these various contributions in a fractioned step approach.
Returning now to the right hand side terms of Equation (6.3), the influence of the
diffusion fraction can be written as
2
dQ ¶Q
( )1 = D 2 (6.6)
dt ¶x
æ ¶ 2Q ö
dQ1 = D ç 2 ÷ dt (6.7)
è ¶ x øpeak
The diffusion mechanism is commonly explained by the fact that the water level
slope during rising water level is steeper than the bed slope. Consequently, the
discharge at the wave front is higher than might be expected from the rating curve
and the water balance in that section forces a lowering of the wave peak. This is
further enforced by the lower discharges at the rear of the wave as compared to the
discharge which would follow from the stagedischarge relationship. Here, the water
level slopes are smaller than the bed slope (Figure 6.3).
Figure 6.3 Illustration of the effect of varying water level slopes on flood wave deformation
Returning to Equation (6.7), it is readily seen that this fraction gives a dampening of
the wave peak, as the term ¶2Q/¶x2 is negative, while it leads to an increase of the
discharge at the front and at the rear of the wave, where ¶2Q/¶x2 is positive.
term ¶2Q/¶x2 shows a quadratic increase in the wave dampening. Furthermore, the
decrease in the wave celerity increases the travel time, or the time over which
Equation (6.7) is integrated, over a given stretch of the river, compensating for the
decrease in the diffusion coefficient. Taking all these effects into account, an
increase in the storage width by a factor two, gives a total increase in wave
attenuation of a factor four.
Including also the effect of lateral flow, Equation (6.5) shows its influence.
Applying, again, the fractioned step approach, the contribution of the lateral flow to
the change in peak discharge is given by
dQ
( ) =cq (6.8)
dt 2
or
Equation (6.9) simply tells us that the peak value of the flood wave is increased by
the total lateral flow added to the flood as its peak travels along the river.
Interesting conclusions can now be drawn on the case where flood water infiltrates
into the soil as the flood passes the flood plain. As the infiltration is a loss of water,
the lateral flow is negative and leads to a reduction of discharges along the paths
given by the characteristics. A typical infiltration function along the flood wave
would show the highest water losses during the passage of the front of the wave,
which shows up as a pronounced effect when the bed material is highly permeable.
A high porosity of the bed material, gravel for example, causes a rapid increase in
the infiltration when water is made available by the wave. During the further rise of
the water level, the stream width increases and increases the storage volume
available for infiltration. At the passage of the peak, the infiltration is more or less
completed and the function drops down to zero.
Both hydrological routing and ANN techniques provide limited reliability for the
range of events outside those used for calibration. However, this is exactly the range
one is interested in when dealing with extreme flood events, which rarely occur and
for which measurements are even more rarely available. So even though ANNs and
other datadriven modelling techniques may prove quite valuable in e.g. determining
rainfallrunoff relations (Solomatine, hsa021), physically based descriptions, such as
provided by hydraulic routing techniques and based upon the full use of Equations
(5.1) and (5.2), offer better extrapolation possibilities than hydrological routing
methods or ANN based models. For this reason, we will focus on hydraulic
modelling techniques in the sequel. However, it should be realized that simplified
equations, such as Equation (6.5), remain useful, as these offer us a good insight into
the physical nature of flood propagation, in particular the concepts of flood peak
arrival time and the attenuation of peak discharges.
water equations will be introduced. Following the same principles as for 1D flow,
these equations read
¶h ¶ (uh) ¶ (vh)
+ + =0 (6.10)
¶t ¶x ¶y
¶u ¶u ¶u ¶ (h + zb ) u u 2 + v2
+u +v +g + cf =0 (6.11)
¶t ¶x ¶y ¶x h
¶v ¶v ¶v ¶ ( h + zb ) v u 2 + v2
+u +v +g + cf =0 (6.12)
¶t ¶x ¶y ¶y h
where we now also introduce the yaxis, orthogonal to the xaxis, with its flow
velocity v (m/s) associated to it. The friction term, with the dimensionless friction
coefficient cf, has in both momentum equations a shear force component derived
from the quadratic head loss description along a stream line of the 2D flow. Basic
assumptions are similar to those given for the 1D equations, as far as applicable in
this form of schematization.
=0
Dy
( )
2
n +1 æ n ö 2 (6.14)
ç ui +1/ 2, j ÷ + vi +1/ 2, j
n
u i +1/ 2, j
è ø
cf * n
=0
hi +1/ 2, j
( )
2
æ ö
2
(6.15)
n +1
v
i , j +1/ 2
n
u
i , j +1/ 2 + ç vin, j +1/ 2 ÷
è ø
cf * n
=0
hi , j +1/ 2
where the symbol * has the same meaning as in Equation (5.18) again and a11(un,un),
a12(vn,un), a21(un,vn) and a22(vn,vn) are generalizations of the discretization of the
convective momentum term.
The long double bar over the velocity in the friction term means that this velocity is
obtained by averaging over values at four surrounding grid points. The friction term
requires special treatment in case of flooding of dry terrain. At the wave front the
water velocity rapidly accelerates from zero. Overshoot of velocities can be
prevented by a predictor corrector approach.
The convective momentum terms are subject to the same principles as discussed for
the 1D approximations. For example, for positive flow velocities the momentum
conservative discretization of the term a12(un,vn) is given by
x
q1+1/ 2, j 1/ 2 æ ui +1/ 2, j  ui +1/ 2, j 1 ö
a12 (v , u ) ;
n n v
ç ÷ (6.16)
x
hi +1/ 2, j è Dy ø
whereas it is given by
x æ ui +1/ 2, j  ui +1/ 2, j 1 ö
a12 (v n , u n ) ; v i +1/ 2, j 1/ 2 ç ÷ (6.17)
è Dy ø
x
for the energy conservative discretization. In the first expression v q means the
specific discharge in ydirection, averaged over two surrounding points along the
x
local xaxis. In the last expression v has the same meaning in relation to the
velocity v.
The treatment of the convective momentum terms shown above is numerically very
robust and allows for the correct description of the effects of sudden expansions and
contractions and similar changes in the topography, such as steps in the bed level.
Moreover, it allows for the 2D simulation of supercritical flows and the propagation
of hydraulic jumps.
Figure 6.6 Top view of results of the numerical scheme of Equations (6.13), (6.14) and (6.15) (lower half),
compared with video monitored measurements in a physical model (upper half)
upper reservoir 2 m and the length of the lower reservoir 29 m. The gate has a width
of 0.4 m and has been placed at the middle of the wall.
Figure 6.7 Comparison of measured and computed wave front position at various times (see case Figure 4)
Figure 4 shows the results of this simulation. The upper half of this figure presents a
video recorded view from above. The lower part of the figure presents the computed
results. It is clearly seen that the front propagation, the propagation of the hydraulic
jump and the side spreading of the wave are represented reasonably well. Figure 5
shows a comparison of the measured and computed position of the wave front at
various times.
Simulations were made with various Manning roughness coefficients and both for an
initially wet and a dry downstream reservoir. For the propagation of the flood on the
dry bed the Manning roughness turned out to be a sensitive parameter. If for dam
break models a reliable topography is available, the roughness parameter remains
the only parameter to be estimated. Currently, researchers are focusing on better
descriptions of roughness parameters by deriving depth dependent relationships on
Another example is the flood propagation in a meandering river, with shortcuts via
the flood plain when over bank flow occurs. In large scale models, the flow between
the river banks is satisfactorily described by the de Saint Venant equations solved
with 1D grid steps several times the width of the channel. An equivalent accuracy of
description in 2D would require a large number of grid cells, with step sizes being a
fraction of the channel width. However, flow in the flood plain may be better
described in 2D and may allow for 2D grid steps often exceeding the width of the
river.
For this reason, hybrid 1D and 2D schematizations are often used. Basically there
are two approaches: one with interfaces defined between 1D and 2D along vertical
planes and the other approach with schematization interfaces in almost horizontal
planes.
Coupling along vertical planes, gives a full separation in the horizontal space of the
1D and 2D modeled domains. In the 1D domain the flow is modeled with the de
Saint Venant equations applied over the full water depth. The direction of flow in
the 1D domain is assumed to follow the channel xaxis and in the model it carries its
momentum in this direction, also above bank level. Without special provisions, there
is no momentum transfer accounting applied between the 1D and 2D domains.
Momentum and volume entering or leaving the 2D domain at these interfaces, are
generated by the compatibility condition applied. As a result, the coupling cannot be
expected to be momentum conservative. Depending on the numerical solution
applied, the linkage may either be on water level or on discharge compatibility.
Particular care has to be taken in applying this form of schematization if water
quality processes are to be included in the model.
In a model coupled along an almost horizontal plane, 2D grid cells are placed above
the 1D domain, as shown in Figure 6. In this schematization, the de Saint Venant
equations are applied only up to bank level. Above this level, the flow description in
the 2D cell takes over. For relatively small channel widths compared to the 2D cell
size, errors in neglecting the effect of momentum transfer at the interface are minor.
For wider channels it is recommended to modify each 2D cell depth used in the
momentum equation by adding a layer defined by the local hydraulic radius for that
part of the 1D crosssection which underlies a 2D cell.
Further refinements are possible, including terms describing the momentum transfer
between the 1D and 2D domains.
This direct solver carries its elimination on, until nearly every second equation in the
2D domain has been eliminated. Beyond this point, it is more economical to apply
the conjugate gradient solver to solve the remaining set of equations.
Figure 6.9 Flood modelling of the Vallei and Eem area, The Netherlands
North of the dike the 1D link discharges into the 2D domain, given by a 100 * 100
m grid with bottom levels derived from a digital elevation model and resistance
coefficients derived from land use maps. Elevated roads and railways are presented
as flow barriers by raising the underlying cell bottom levels up to the levels of these
embankments. The resulting flood depths presented in Figure 7 clearly show the
effect of the 1D channel in the schematization. Due to their greater depth, flood
waves propagate faster in these channels than over land. Further downstream, this
leads to first signs of the progressing flood wave already one or two days before the
main flood arrives.
6.9 Exercise
At a discharge measuring station a crosssection is measured as shown below.
a) Compute the conveyance of the channel for levels h=2.00 m and h=3.00 m,
respectively. The Manning numbers vary along the crosssection and their
values have been indicated in Figure 6.8..
b) Compute discharges for both levels given an approximate bed slope I0=103.
c) Compute approximate flood wave celerities for the given water levels. Explain
the difference in the celerities.
d) During the passage of a flood wave, the water level rises from 2.00 m to 3.00
m above the reference level over a period of 10 minutes. Compute the
approximate deviation between the water level slope and the bed slope. (Note:
transform the time to a length via the wave celerity).
e) Compute the approximate difference in percentage between the expected
measured discharges and the discharges based on a rating curve.
Figure 6.10 Crosssection for the computation of flood wave propagation celerities
7 Water Hammer
7.1 Introduction
Water hammer is the phenomenon of highamplitude pressure waves travelling in
pipes, caused by the rapid changes in the velocity of the transported fluid. These
variations usually result from the operation of flow and pressure control devices,
such as valves, pumps and turbines.
d slot
Figure 7.1 Sketch of pipe with artificial slot at the top to represent storage effects of pipe expansion
and water compressibility
In principle, the equations used for the computation of these pressure waves are the
same as those derived for open channel flow. As an analogy one may consider a pipe
which has an artificial slot at the top, in which a free surface water level may rise
after complete filling of the pipe (Figure 7.1).
The wetted area of the slot represents the storage of water resulting from changes in
the water pressure. The storage capacity consists of three principal contributions:
1. the elasticity of the pipe wall which leads to a pipe crosssection expansion at
increasing water pressure. It is evident that this type of storage depends on the
crosssection shape and on the wall material properties and its composition.
2. compressibility of the water, which usually is neglected in free surface flow
computations. In the case of water hammer, however, the compressibility plays a
dominant role. As the free surface flow equations are based upon a volume
balance, the compression of the water represents a virtual water storage;
3. compressibility of air bubbles or vacuum bubbles contained in the water;
1. high pressures may build up in a pipe line to the extent that it may lead to
bursting of the pipe;
2. vacuum bubbles may be generated when the pressure drops to values below
approximately 30% of the atmospheric pressure. The resulting cavitation is
highly aggressive to the pipe material and may lead to considerable damage;
3. in other cases, air may be entrained in the fluid at moments and locations where
the pressures are low.
For these reasons, any design related to transport of fluid in pipes should be checked
against the risk of water hammer damage. There are various reasons why water
hammer may occur. For details, reference is made to text books, e.g. Chaudhry
(1987). Typical reasons are:
In many cases it is the way of operating the system that causes the water hammer
problems. In other cases there may be accidental causes. In the design of the
hydraulic system such operation problems may be foreseen and water hammer may
be prevented by designing antiwater hammer arrangements. Examples are:
For a more extensive list of options reference is made again to the literature in this
field. As water hammer computations may be complex, use is often made of
standard software packages, such as the WANDA system of Delft Hydraulics
(www.wldelft.nl). However, simple problems may also be investigated by using
Excel. The next paragraphs provide the basis for setting up such computations.
¶H ¶Q
bs + = 0 (7.1)
¶t ¶x
¶Q ¶ æ Q 2 ö ¶H f
+ ç ÷ + gA + QQ = 0 (7.2)
¶t ¶x è A ø ¶x 2DA
where
In the momentum equation the friction term has been replaced by a term based on the
DarcyWeisbach concept. In this form, the coefficient expresses the energy head loss
DH as the fraction of the velocity head which is lost over a pipe length equivalent to
its diameter D. For a length L of the pipe the head loss is then defined as
L u2
DH = f (7.3)
D 2g
In water hammer, the role of the convective momentum is small and usually
neglected. Introducing, furthermore, a characteristic celerity a as
A
a = g (7.4)
bs
gA ¶H ¶Q
+ = 0 (7.5)
a ¶t ¶x
2
¶Q ¶H f
+ gA + QQ = 0 (7.6)
¶t ¶x 2DA
¶ æ gA ö ¶Q
ç H÷ + a = 0 (7.7)
¶t è a ø ¶x
¶Q ¶ æ gA ö
+a ç H÷ = E (7.8)
¶t ¶x è a ø
f
E =  QQ (7.9)
2DA
¶ æ gA ö ¶ æ gA ö
çQ + H÷ + a çQ + H÷ = E (7.10)
¶t è a ø ¶x è a ø
¶ æ gA ö ¶ æ gA ö
çQ  H÷ a çQ  H÷ = E (7.11)
¶t è a ø ¶x è a ø
d æ gA ö
çQ + H÷ = E (7.12)
dt è a ø
dx
= a (7.13)
dt
d æ gA ö
çQ  H÷ = E (7.14)
dt è a ø
dx
= a (7.15)
dt
gA
Q+ H = constant (7.16)
a
along the positive characteristic given by Equation (7.13), while Equation (7.14) leads
to
gA
Q H = constant (7.17)
a
Before discussing the role of these equations in the algorithm leading to the solution
of water hammer problems, let us consider again the meaning of the characteristic
celerity a in relation to water storage. In analogy with Hooke's law expressing the
elastic deformation of a string under the influence of the axial stress
s = eE (7.18)
where
s = axial stress (N/m2);
e = strain per unit length of the string;
E = Young's modulus of elasticity.
dV
dp =  K (7.19)
V
where
For a control volume of length dx the compression of fluid in the pipe can be made
equivalent to a virtual storage of an incompressible fluid in a virtual pipe slot by the
relation
V
dV =  dp =  b s dH dx (7.20)
K
where the change in pressure level dH is related to the change in water pressure dp, by
dp = r g dH (7.21)
assuming that the contribution of the change in fluid density in this relation can be
neglected.
rgA
bs = (7.22)
K
For the derivation of the effect of pipe deformation it will be assumed that the pipe
wall is elastic and that the pipe has expansion joints all along its axis. These joints
will prevent the development of axial stresses under the influence of changing water
pressure in the pipe. The general stressstrain relation for elastic pipe material under
the influence of stresses in axial and tangential direction reads as
s 1 = ms 2 = e E (7.23)
where
s1 = hoop stress (tangential direction) (N/m2);
s2 = axial stress (N/m2);
m = Poisson's ratio.
For the case where the axial stress cannot develop the equation reads, for a change in
tangential stress
ds 1 = e E (7.24)
The expression of e in terms of the change in the circular pipe circumference with
radius r
d(2p r) ds 1
e = = (7.25)
2p r E
dr ds 1
= (7.26)
r E
or
dA 2ds 1
= (7.27)
A E
Referring to Figure (7.2) the change in pipe material stress is related to the change in
pressure dp as
or
P
e
t t
Figure 7.2 Forces on semicylinder under the influence of water hammer induced pressures
D
dA = r gA dH (7.30)
eE
Relating this compression volume to the water storage in the fictive pipe slot gives
D
dV = dA dx = rgA dH dx = b s dH dx
e
or
D
bs = r g A (7.31)
eE
The combined effects of water compressibility and pipe expansion leads to the virtual
pipe slot width
r g A æ DK ö
bs = ç1 + ÷ (7.32)
K è eE ø
Substitution of this relation into Equation (7.41) gives the expression for the pressure
wave celerity
K
r
a = (7.33)
DK
1+
eE
The effect of axial stresses and composite pipe walls requires a further generalisation
of this equation to the form
K
r
a = (7.34)
K
1 +y
E
with
D
y = (7.35)
e
for the case of homogeneous elastic pipe material and the presence of expansion joints
all along the pipe.
D
y = (1  m 2) (7.36)
e
for the case of thinwalled elastic conduits anchored against axial movement
throughout their length;
D
y = (1  0.5m ) (7.37)
e
for the case of thinwalled elastic conduits anchored against axial movement at the
upper end;
y =1 ; E=G (7.38)
for the case of an unlined tunnel with a modulus of rock elasticity G, and
DE
y = (7.39)
GD + Ee
For values of the various material properties reference is made to literature and to
Table 7.1 and Table 7.2 for some very common ones.
Consider the hypothetical case of a pipe with frictionless flow supplied at the
upstream end from a large reservoir and controlled at the downstream end by a
valve, as shown in Figure (7.3). Data for this problem are given as follows:
Hres = 50 m
Q = 1 m3/s
A = 1 m2
L = 1000 m
a = 1000 m/s
g = 10 m/s2
The characteristic grid for this problem is shown in Figure 7.4. Initially all
discharges and pressure levels are equal to 1 m3/s and 50 m respectively.
Referring, again, to Equations (7.16 and 7.17), the solution at point A1 is found by
solving the boundary condition
H A1 = 50 m
and by Equation (7.17) applied along the negative characteristic from point B0 to point
A1
giving
H A1 = 50 m; Q A1 = 1.0 m 3 /s
Note that this solution is still equivalent to the initial steady state condition along the
pipeline between A and B. This is explained by the fact that the effect of the valve
closure starting at point B0 cannot influence conditions at the upstream boundary
before the negative characteristic through point B0 has arrived at point A1. The
triangle formed by the points A0, B0 and A1, therefore, is a steady state region.
Q B1 = 0.8 m3/s
with the condition along the positive characteristic passing from A0 to B1, given as
resulting in
H B1 = 70 m; Q B1 = 0.8 m3 /s
The gradual valve closure gives a considerable operation improvement over the case
of a sudden valve closure. Closing the valve instantaneously at time t=0 gives a
pressure H=150 m at point B1, as can be verified easily by applying Equation (7.16)
with QB1=0 m3/s. Further improvements are found by slowing the closure operation
further down. This example, therefore, demonstrates clearly the origin of water
hammer problems and the essential approach to water hammer prevention.
reservoir
supply pipe
t (s)
10 10
9 9
8 8
7 7
6 6
5 5
4 4 0.2
3 3 0.4
2 2 0.6
1 1 0.8
0 0 1.0
0 100 0 1.0
x (m) Q (m 3 /s)
A B
Table 7.3 Pressures and discharges computed for the problem of valve closure
Point 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 variable
A 1.0 1.0 0.6 0.2 0.2 0.2 0.2 0.2 0.2 0.2 0.2 Q (m3/s)
50 50 50 50 50 50 50 50 50 50 50 H (m)
B 1.0 0.8 0.6 0.4 0.2 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 Q (m3/s)
50 70 90 70 50 70 70 30 30 70 70 H (m)
7.4 Exercise
Water flows from a reservoir through a horizontal pipe with a length L=10 km. The
reservoir water level HR is 50 m +MSL. The pipe has a diameter D of 1.00 meter. At
the end of the pipe the outflow is controlled by a valve. The steady state water velocity
u=2 m/s. The DarcyWeisbach friction coefficient f is 0.01. Use g=10 m/s2 in your
computations.
Questions
1. Compute the pressure distribution along the pipe line for the steady state flow,
assuming that the energy loss at the valve can be neglected.
2. For the computation of Questions 37 we will assume that the complete energy
loss along the pipe is now concentrated at the valve. Recompute the pressure
distribution.
3. Compute the characteristic pressure wave celerity for the data given below.
4. Compute, with the rigid water column theory, the pressure increase at the pipe
end if the valve is closed over a period of 1 second. Is this pressure increase
realistic?
5. Compute the pressure increase with the water hammer theory for fast closure.
6. Compute the pressure as a function of time at the location of the valve by
using the method of characteristics. Use a valve closure function which leads
to a linear decrease in out flowing discharge over a period of 1 minute. Neglect
friction.
7. While keeping the other parameters constant, what will be the effect on the
maximum pressure increase if:
a) the closure time is increased;
b) the steel pipe is replaced by a PVC pipe;
c) the pipe wall thickness is increased;
d) the pipe diameter is increased;
e) the pipe length is decreased;
f) air is entrained into the flow.
8. Repeat the computations for the case where pipe wall friction is included and
the energy loss at the valve is neglected. Produce a graph of the results.
Additional data:
e = 0.01 m;
K = 2 GPa;
E = 200 GPa.
8 References
Abbott, M.B. (1979). Computational Hydraulics – Elements of the Theory of Free Surface
Flows, Pitman, London/San Francisco/Melbourne.
Chaudhry, M.H. (1993), OpenChannel Flow, Prentice Hall, Anglewood Cliffs, USA.
Cunge, J.A., Holly, F.M. and Verwey, A. (1986). Practical Aspects of Computational River
Hydraulics (420 pages), Pitman Publishing Ltd., London, Great Britain, 1980. Reprinted at
Iowa Institute of Hydraulic Research, USA, 1986. (Also translated into Russian).
Henderson, F.M. (1966). Open Channel Flow, McMillan Company, New York.
Hesselink, A.W., Stelling, G.S., Kwadijk J.C.J. and Middelkoop, H. (2003). Inundation of a
Dutch river polder, sensitivity analysis of a physically based inundation model using historic
data. Water Resour. Res., 39(9), 1234.
Hirsch, C. (1990). Numerical Computation of Internal and External Flows, Wiley, New York.
Rodriguez Uthurburu, R, (2004). Evaluation of physically based and evolutionary data mining
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485, UNESCOIHE, Delft, The Netherlands.
Serban, P., Crookshank, N.L. and Willis, D.H. (2005). Intercomparison of Forecast Models
for Streamflow Routing in Large Rivers, WMO, Geneva.
Stelling, G.S., Kernkamp, H.W.J. and Laguzzi, M.M. (1998). Delft Flooding System: a
powerful tool for inundation assessment based upon a positive flow simulation,
Hydroinformatics ‘98, Babovi & Larsen (Eds.), Balkema, Rotterdam, 449456.
Stelling, G.S. and Duinmeijer, S.P.A. (2003). A staggered conservative scheme for every
Froude number in rapidly varied shallow water flows. Int. J. for Numer. Meth. Fluids, 43,
13291354.
Stoker, J.J. (1957). Water Waves, Pure and Applied Mathematics, Vol. IV, Interscience
Publishers, New York.
Toro, E.F. (1999). Riemann Solvers and Numerical methods for Fluid Dynamics, Springer,
Berlin.
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