Best Practices for 2D Hydraulic Modeling
In SMS, designing a good 2D hydraulic model from the start gives the best results. A poorly designed model can give bad results, cause model errors, or even keep the model from converging. And while it may seem easy at first to design a good model, there are plenty of potential pitfalls that can come up if you are not careful.
The following tips, broken down into five areas, can help improve any model.
Pay attention to your terrain data. You can't set up a good model without a good foundation, and terrain data is your foundation. There are four things you will need to spend time getting right:
- Represent hydraulic controls accurately
- Make sure you include channel bathymetry
- Add breaklines where needed
- Finally review the terrain surface for missing features
Use an appropriate number of elements: size does matter, more is not always better. This is mainly because the time your model takes to render is a significant factor for any project. Element length should generally be equal to or greater than the flow depth, except for limited areas such as piers. When elements are too small, waves can form skewing the model results.
Quadrilatereal elements in meshes are often more stable than when using triangular elements. Once you have set your number of elements and length, confirm that hydraulic controls are represented in the mesh.
Lastly, review your mesh for quality.
When determining the boundaries of your model, you will need to find two things. First look for the most constricted area when determining model limits. Second, find the furthest usable boundary location from the area of interest. A good rule of thumb for rivers: two floodplain widths up and downstream. Note that the width of the mesh should be greater than the maximum flood width.
Lastly, perform sensitivity analysis on boundary conditions.
Be aware that Manning's n values for 2D model can be lower than 1D models. Be sure to calibrate your model. Essentially check your results to see if they are reasonable.
Model Execution and Review
- Use the largest time step possible that gives you continuity and stability ( i.e. while still achieving a good solution).
- Use monitoring points to verify steady simulation.
- Use monitoring lines to verify continuity.
- Review convergence parameters to confirm conservation of mass.
Following these tips can improve any model that uses a 2D mesh. Try them out in SMS today!