Basics of Physical Modeling in Coastal and Hydraulic Engineering
ENGINEER RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT CENTER VICKSBURG MS COASTAL AND HYDRAULICS LAB
Pagination or Media Count:
The mission of CHL is to understand better the effects of water levels, tides, waves, and currents on coastal structures such as beaches, inlets, harbors, jetties, and breakwaters and riverine structures such as spillways, levees, locks, and stilling basins. Combinations of analytical, numerical, and laboratory modeling tools are typically used to ensure optimal designs. Physical models are an important component of the CHL mission. They are engineering tools that are used to a improve understanding and gain insight into the physics of coastal and riverine processes, b test and optimize proposed designs, and c provide data sets for improving numerical models. Physical systems that are reproduced in the model follow similarity laws derived from dimensional analysis so that the model accurately represents the prototype. In general, the ratio of like quantities should be the same in both the model and prototype. Use of physical models is a well established engineering practice, especially in hydraulics and the design of ships Hughes 1993 Chakrabarti 1994. William Froude 1810-1879 and Osbourne Reynolds 1842-1912 are among the most famous researchers relative to our branch of hydraulics. Froude studied the resistance of ships in a towing tank in 1870, which involved inertial and gravitational forces. Reynolds, a British engineer, developed the Reynolds number in his study of flow in parallel pipes to distinguish between laminar and turbulent flow conditions. The Froude and Reynolds numbers are two of the most important non-dimensional similarity parameters used in physical modeling. The CHL has been actively involved with physical modeling since its founding in 1929 to study the Mississippi River floods.
- Civil Engineering
- Fluid Mechanics