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River Engineering - Sediment Transport and River Models

Learn the principles of sediment transport and river modelling in river engineering with this free online course.

Publisher: NPTEL
Are you fascinated by the dynamics of river systems and how they develop? This free online course has various topics to explain the effects of sediment and how it is transported in a river system. River models are used to define terms such as glacial lake outburst, turbulence bursting and momentum exchange. The course will also highlight the factors necessary for the formation of bridge scours and ways to mitigate their development.
River Engineering - Sediment Transport and River Models
  • Duration

    5-6 Hours
  • Students

  • Accreditation






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This sediment transport and river modelling course aims to explain how sediment is transported in a river system and the techniques used to model this behaviour. Firstly, the course will cover the processes that happen when a flash flood occurs, such as a glacial lake outburst or a dam break. The behaviour of the flood wave propagation will be reviewed. What is the celerity of the floodway propagation? This process will be discussed using mathematical and graphical representations that are easy to understand. Case studies will help further explain the properties and characteristics of outburst floods. You will practice looking at wave propagation using fluid mechanics models to compute speed and energy values. Terms such as incipient motion, bedload, suspended load, and flow resistance in alluvial rivers will be defined and appropriate illustrations given. Details of experimental and river surveys conducted in many parts of the world, including Europe and the United States of America, will be revealed.

From these studies, the relationship of flow rate to sediment concentration will be outlined and the calculation of other properties such as discharge, velocity, flow depth and frictional slopes will be recorded. The characteristic of the river system will be revealed by using the particle size distributions curve. Next, the course will show how to solve simple numerical problems to estimate bed shear stress and sediment concentrations’ vertical distributions. This calculation will aid in determining the factors that result in the process called turbulence bursting. More examples of physical river models will be illustrated for you to understand better the theories covered. The course will explain terms like geometric similitude, kinematic similitude and dynamic similitude. Next, you will learn about contractions scours, the Laursen models, the abutment scours, pier scours and total scours. Computations of the total scour and scour countermeasures which are included in the HEC-RAS models, will be illustrated.

The quality of water required in various situations is dependant on why it is necessary. Drinking water must be safe to drink and protected from any impurity by pathogens or other pollutants that come from waste. For additional water uses such as for home, industrial or agricultural use, the quality is less critical. In general, surface water sources are likely to contain many diverse materials and possible pollutants. These include micro-organisms and small solid particles, referred to as suspended particulates or suspended solids. These make the water turbid, i.e. cloudy. Turbidity is considered a useful estimate of water quality because it can carry micro-organisms and pollutants on suspended solids’ surface. The murkier the liquid, the more suspended particles there are in it, and the more contaminated the mixture is likely to be. However, it is essential to understand that clear water is not necessarily pure as some contaminants may not be visible. If you find river engineering fascinating and would like to impact future generations by saving our natural resources, then study this course. Start today and become an expert in the stimulating principles of sediment concentration and river transport!

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