Flow resistance and momentum flux in compound open channels

Zhixian Cao, Jian Meng, Gareth Pender, Steve Wallis

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    30 Citations (Scopus)


    New formulations are presented for flow resistance and momentum flux in compound open channels. As implemented in the St. Venant equations, these formulations facilitate a physically enhanced approach to evaluating conveyance, roughness, stage-discharge relationship, and unsteady flood routing in compound open channels. An analysis using steady flow data from the well-controlled experiments at the large-scale Flood Channel Facility, HR Wallingford, demonstrates the ability of the present approach to properly resolve the discontinuity of overall roughness across the main-channel bankfull level. Also, the proposed formulations are shown to be conducive to obviating the long-standing computational difficulty in unsteady flood routing due to small flow depths over flat and wide floodplains. The present work should find general applications in one-dimensional computation of river flows. © 2006 ASCE.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1272-1282
    Number of pages11
    JournalJournal of Hydraulic Engineering
    Issue number12
    Publication statusPublished - Dec 2006


    • Flood plains
    • Flood routing
    • Flow resistance
    • Open channel flow
    • Open channels
    • Roughness


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