Hydraulic processes

Hydraulics is an engineering science pertaining to liquid pressure and flow. Hydraulic processes are used to convert a volume of water moving down a channel. To study the movement of floodwater through a stream and on a flood plain is the main target. The hydraulic study determines the flood elevations, velocities and the size of flood plains at each cross section for a range of flood flow frequencies. These hydraulic processes are normally displayed by using computer models. These flood elevations are the primary data source used by engineers to map a flood plain.

The movement of fluids is possible in systems with:
a closed cross section (pipe flow):
A pressure-resistant casing encloses a moving fluid in a pipe generally. The pressure head of the fluid can be determined by piezometer.
a free surface (open channel flow):
The open channel flow is characterised by a combination of a firm and a fluid boundary layer. The latter is to be understood as an interface between two fluids of different density.

The most important part of the channel current in practice is the water flow on the earth's surface. The characteristic of this special case is the interface between water and air at the water surface. It is essential that the water pressure at the water surface is identical to the atmospheric pressure. The water surface can be regarded as a surface of constant pressure. It is generally accepted as a reference and set to zero.


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