Hydraulic Engineering Services: River Hydraulics and the Benefits of Using 2D Modelling

11 May 2020

Fluid mechanics, which is being maximised by hydraulic engineering, studies the behaviour of fluid like liquids, gases, blood, and plasmas both at rest and in motion. This specific branch of physics is being applied in a wide variety of disciplines, which include mechanical, civil, chemical, biomedical, and hydraulic engineering, geophysics, oceanography, and many more.

Any problem and concern regarding the collection, storage, control, transport, regulation, measurement, and use of water will all fall to hydraulic engineering. This type of engineering applies the basic principles of fluid mechanics in dealing with all the previously stated issues. It also utilises the primary understanding of motion and interaction of water with the surrounding environment.

Understanding River Hydraulics

Most of the time, both the movement and behaviour of the water changes whenever it interacts with surrounding elements. And so, if a specific construction work must be done underwater, a contractor would typically apply hydraulic engineering principles to make everything safe and stable.

There are plenty of construction works that are now dealing with rivers. Therefore, contractors would normally study river hydraulics before conducting any planning and actual activities. With river hydraulics, numerous river-related factors will be assessed to find out the best solution, method, and other variables that can be applied during construction works.

Some of the factors and elements that are assessed under river hydraulics include the hydraulic zone of influence, ice pack and debris motion, plume discharge, fishway passage, flood condition, estuarine, flash flood occurrences, contaminants, and many more. All these elements are combined and collated to form a hydraulic model of the river. 

Helpful Benefits of 2D Modelling

One of the most popular hydraulic models of the river uses two-dimensional (2D) modelling. 2D modelling of the river hydraulics allows the contractor and all involved professionals to analyse the way the body of water behaves hydraulically. This specific river hydraulic model is likewise maximised to plan infrastructure improvements, develop maintenance strategies, and serve as a gateway towards identifying potential problems and concerns.

Utilising 2D modelling in coming up with the river hydraulics can be beneficial for the contractor, professionals, and the project manager. For one, 2D modelling can easily provide an accurate representation of complex hydraulic conditions that are being manifested in the actual setting. The high-quality visual graphic output of 2D modelling also makes it easier for professionals to analyse and come up with results that they can show to all involved stakeholders.

Modelling assumptions and user judgement are lessened with 2D modelling, making them closely accurate to real-world situations. Wide floodplains, sinuous channels, multiple channels, bends and confluences, bridge or roadway crossings, and all other elements are accurately represented with this type of modelling. Flow distribution, velocity distribution, water surface elevation, velocity magnitude, flow depth, and other variables are easily provided by 2D modelling too.

Creating and running a 2D model do not require powerful computer or equipment, making it more accessible to more individuals and engineers. Determining river hydraulics with 2D modelling allows engineers to identify problems and issues that may be resolved promptly before proceeding to the succeeding project processes. 2D modelling has been helpful for engineers because of its convenience, accuracy, and accessibility.

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