SPH Modeling of Shallow Flow with Open Boundaries for Practical Flood Simulation

R Vacondio, B D Rogers, P K Stansby, P Mignosa

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A smoothed particle hydrodynamics (SPH) numerical model for shallow water equations (SWEs) is presented for simulating flood inundation owing to rapidly varying flow, such as dam breaks, tsunamis, and levee breaches. Important theoretical and numerical developments have recently been made, and the model in this paper incorporates these developments and implements open boundary conditions, resulting in a general, accurate computational tool suitable for practical application. The method is attractive for flood simulation over large domains in which the extent of inundation is unknown because computation is carried out only in wet areas and is dynamically adaptive. The open boundary algorithm is very general, on the basis of a simplified version of the characteristics method, handling both supercritical and subcritical inflow and outflow. This is tested against reference solutions for flows over a hump involving shocks. The model is then applied to two very different flood inundations resulting from the Okushiri tsunami in Japan and from a hypothetical dyke breach at Thamesmead in the United Kingdom. The SPH-SWE model compares well with established commercial and state-of-the-art finite-volume codes. ?? 2012 American Society of Civil Engineers.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)530-541
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Hydraulic Engineering
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2012


  • Characteristics method
  • Computational tools
  • Dam-breaks
  • Finite-volume
  • Flood simulation
  • Large domain
  • Levee breaches
  • Open boundaries
  • Open boundary condition
  • Reference solution
  • Shallow flow
  • Shallow water equations
  • Shallow waters
  • Smoothed particle hydrodynamics
  • Super-critical
  • United kingdom
  • Boundary conditions
  • Equations of motion
  • Flood control
  • Oil well flooding
  • Tsunamis
  • Hydrodynamics
  • algorithm
  • boundary condition
  • computer simulation
  • dike
  • flood
  • levee
  • numerical model
  • shallow water
  • supercritical flow
  • tsunami
  • United Kingdom


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