Numerical Solutions of the Shallow Water Equations with Discontinuous Bed Topography

J. G. Zhou, D. M. Causon, David Ingram, C. G. Mingham

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A simple scheme is developed for treatment of vertical bed topography in shallow water flows. The effect of the vertical step on flows is modelled with the shallow water equations including local energy loss terms. The bed elevation is denoted with zb- for the left and zb+ for the right values at each grid point, hence exactly representing a discontinuity in the bed topography. The surface gradient method (SGM) is generalized to reconstruct water depths at cell interfaces involving a vertical step so that the fluxes at the cell interfaces can accurately be calculated with a Riemann solver. The scheme is verified by predicting a surge crossing a step, a tidal flow over a step and dam-break flows on wet/dry beds. The results have shown good agreements compared with analytical solutions and available experimental data. The scheme is efficient, robust, and may be used for practical flow calculations.
Original languageUndefined/Unknown
Pages (from-to)769-788
Number of pages20
JournalInternational Journal for Numerical Methods in Fluids
Publication statusPublished - 2002

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