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Open Channel Flow Modeling


Module Overview

Numerical models are effective and informative research, design, and planning tools. The substantial advancement in computational power has allowed numerical models to be a viable and efficient tool to solve complex problems and improve our understanding of the fundamentals in the water resources field. Therefore, it is critical to provide an in-depth understanding of the basics of numerical modeling techniques and recognize the strengths and limitations of these techniques.

This introductory modeling module will provide: A general overview of the basics of numerical modeling, model development, and applications. It will include hands-on training through model application to streams and large rivers.

This module will also include opportunities for the students to participate in hands-on applications to examine a research, design or a planning problem and explore ways where numerical models can provide usable information to answer or provide insights into these questions.

Topics Covered

Governing Equations, Model Selection, Model Setup, Model Calibration/Validation, Quality Assurance/Quality Control, and Interpretation/Communication of Results

Learning Objectives

At the end of this course, you should be able to:

Describe the governing equations of open channels in native and discretized forms

Define model domain, initial conditions, boundary conditions and grid resolution

Explain the steps required to complete a modeling study

Perform numerical simulations of open channel flow

Communicate and critique model results to variety of audience


Introductory level hydraulics

Course Authors

Course Staff Image #1

Dr. Ehab Meselhe

Ehab Meselhe, Ph.D., P.E., is Professor in the Department of River-Coastal Science and Engineering at Tulane University. Dr. Meselhe has more than 25 years of experience with development and applications of numerical models to rivers, watersheds and coastal areas. Dr. Meselhe is a registered Professional Engineer in the states of Iowa and Louisiana.

Laura Manuel, Graduate Research Assistant

Tulane University. Contact:

Target Audience

Graduate Hydraulic Courses

Tools Needed

Computer with access to Internet, Excel, and HEC-RAS software (free)

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