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River hydraulics – a view from midstream

Author(s): Donald W. Knight

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Keywords: Flood modelling; history of hydraulics; hydraulic education; hydraulic resistance; laboratory studies; open-channel flow turbulence; river channels

Abstract: Six distinct “views” of river hydraulics are presented, beginning with what influences us today, given our shared history, to what we can learn from others as they tackled research topics in their day. Other views relate to how we regard rivers through laboratory studies, the computer screen or in nature at full scale, and to how we might view research problems in the future. Interspersed with these various views are 10 questions that are frequently asked of river engineers, along with some possible answers. In attempting to answer these particular questions, some insights gained from a career in river hydraulics research are offered as a guide to others, both in practice or academe, as they raise some further issues which are worth reflecting on. This paper is particularly aimed at emerging hydraulic researchers and young engineers who are embarking on a career in river hydrodynamics.


Year: 2013

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