03 - Basic Concepts & Equations

Dates & Key Links

Lecture Date(s):
Tuesday, January 25, 2011
Thursday, January 27, 2011
See Calendar

Reading Assignment
For Tuesday
For Thursday

Lab Assignment(s)
No Lab Assignment... Just Discussion

03 - Basic Concepts & Equations


Introduction to Topic

We've finally covered enough background material to dive into the basic equations, which we use to describe the motion of fluids in hydraulics and fluid mechanics. We will cover many physical concepts and equations you may have heard in passing or even learned previously (e.g. local vs. convective acceleration, continuity, Navier-Stokes equations, Bernouli Equation, etc.). We will delve into the details of how these terms and equations are defined and/or derived, but don't loose sight of the fact that we're primarily dealing with three simple conservation laws: mass, momentum and energy.  The equations we use to describe fluid motion in fluvial hydraulics help us relate fluid properties to hydraulic variables.

Why we're Covering it

You need to develop an appreciation for how basic physical laws (Classical Newtonian Mechanics) can be used to derive a mathematical representation of fluid motion, and in so doing appreciate why quantifying the behavior of natural rivers is a somewhat elusive exercise in approximation. This directly supports Primary Learning Outcome 1.

Lecture Materials


Half hour talk from Susanne Clement (Librarian), about finding sources of material for your term papers.
Remainder, we'll start on the fundamental equations (see reading).


We will have a lecture and discussion that extends through lab, in which we cover the fundamental equations & basic concepts laid out in Chapter 4.

Additional Resources

Sometimes, reading the same derivations in multiple forms is the most helpful way to make it sink in and help you recognize when you're looking at the exact same equation in a different form (when reading  journal articles for example).  This week we've seen the same material explained by Dingman (2008) and Chanson (2004). Another nice concise overview can be found in Ingham & Ma's (2005) Chapter Two of the Bates et al. (2005) CFD volume (now available as e-Book through the library):
Ingham DB and Ma L. 2005. Fundamental Equations for CFD in River Flow Simulations. Computational Fluid Dynamics. John Wiley & Sons, Ltd, 17-49 pp. DOI: 10.1002/0470015195.ch2.

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