Flash floods simulation using Saint Venant equations

Hossam Elhanafy, Graham J.M. Copeland

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Flash floods prediction is considered one of the important environmental issues worldwide. In order to predict when and where the flood wave will invade and attack our lives, and provide solutions to deal with this problem it is essential to develop a reliable model that simulates accurately this physical phenomena. The research project reported in this paper is concerned with a study of unsteady free surface water flow, a hydrograph, resulting from a watershed just after the outlet station. To achieve this aim a numerical hydraulic model has been constructed to simulate the flow of water in the main stream based on the Saint Venant equations (SVES) using a staggered finite difference scheme to evaluate the discharge, the water stage, and the cross section area within the domain. While the Method Of Characteristics (MOC) is applied to achieve open boundary downstream and overcome the problem of reflections there. The developed model had passed a series of tests which indicated that this model is capable of simulating different cases of water flow that contain both steady and unsteady flow. Once the flood had been predicted it could be used as a stepping stone for different purposes including parameter identification (Ding et al. 2004), evaluating the sensitivity of the flood to some control variables (Copeland and Elhanafy 2006), Flood risk assessment (Elhanafy and Copeland 2007) ,uncertainty in the predicted flood (Elhanafy and Copeland 2007) and (Elhanafy et al. 2007).
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages16
Publication statusPublished - 29 May 2007
Event12th International Conference on Aerospace Sciences and Aviation Technology, ASAT-12 - Cairo, Egypt
Duration: 29 May 200731 May 2007


Conference12th International Conference on Aerospace Sciences and Aviation Technology, ASAT-12
CityCairo, Egypt


  • floods
  • flood risk assessment
  • saint venant equations
  • finite difference method
  • civil engineering
  • hydraulics


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