Methods for Routing Hydrographs Through Open Channels

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Methods for Routing Hydrographs Through Open Channels

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Water Resources Research Center, University of Minnesota


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In this study a simulation model of an open channel system was used to evaluate some existing flood routing methods, observe the effect of different physical variables on flood wave movement, and to develop a simple routing method. The physical, geometric, and hydraulic components of the model were patterned after real-life conditions common to southeastern Minnesota. The dynamic equations of unsteady flow were used to route flood hydrographs through the channel system and outflow hydrographs were generated to achieve the objectives listed above. The method of characteristics with a specified time interval was used to solve the unsteady flow equations. Two simple storage routing methods, the Method A and the Method B were developed and evaluated. Other simple routing methods evaluated include: the Muskingum, the Puls, and the Kinematic Wave. Complete methods evaluated were the Direct and the Explicit. The methods were evaluated by comparing the results by the methods with the generated results. Comparisons were made on the accuracy of the predicted results, the complexity of the method, and the computation time required for a solution. The work reported herein was carried out in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy, granted to Charles Edward Rice by the University of Minnesota, June 1972.


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Larson, Curtis L., Rice, Charles E. 1972. Methods for Routing Hydrographs Through Open Channels. Water Resources Research Center.

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Larson, Curtis L.; Rice, Charles E.. (1972). Methods for Routing Hydrographs Through Open Channels. Retrieved from the University Digital Conservancy,

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