Hydrodynamics of flood


Hydraulic models are based on calculation techniques, which solve mathematical or physical equations to simulate water systems and make projections relating to water levels, flows and velocities. Hydraulic modelling is the simulation activity.

Hydrological models and their dimensions


The array of models goes from:

  • 1D profile line models over
  • 2D shallow water models up to
  • complete three-dimensional mathematical modelling.

The practitioner is thus confronted with the problem of choosing the right model for his solution.

This choice should depend mainly on professional criteria of course. However, the question of adequacy and the available database are crucial in practical applications, since the motto in business is “not more accurate than necessary and as inexpensive as possible”. This point of view explains why one-dimensional profile line models are most common in engineering practice today. They compose a good trade-off between the technically needed and the economically feasible.

The considerable performance increase of computer hardware and of numerical methods and software ergonomics let us look forward to a more widely spread application of two-dimensional models in practice.

This is further supported by an increasingly available, growing database. For example modern photogrammetric methods like laser scanning and digital aerial picture processing allow the acquisition of meadow topographies of whole river systems in a cheap way and with a precision and resolution that is sufficient for a rough discretisation used in two-dimensional modelling. This reduces the surplus effort in two-dimensional models compared to one-dimensional models so much that already in the first projects two-dimensional calculations have been preferred over one-dimensional calculations.

Three-dimensional models are still of small significance in engineering practice.

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Flood modelling






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