101-0258-00L  River Engineering

SemesterAutumn Semester 2021
LecturersV. Weitbrecht, I. Schalko, K. Sperger
Periodicityyearly recurring course
Language of instructionEnglish


AbstractThe lecture addresses the fundamentals of river engineering to quantitatively describe the flow of water, transport of sediment and wood, and morphological changes such as erosion and deposition processes associated with river structures. In addition, design guidelines for river engineering structures are introduced.
ObjectiveAt the end of the course, the students will be able to:
- recall and describe the fundamentals of transport processes in rivers,
- apply different calculation approaches and methods to tackle river engineering problems and tasks such as the discharge capacity of a river, scour estimation, or sediment budget of a river,
- design and dimension river engineering works needed to influence the processes in watercourses, and
- determine the interaction between flow (discharge), sediment transport, wood transport and the resulting channel evolution.
ContentThe first part of the lecture introduces the fundamentals of river engineering, such as methods to determine and calculate the river discharge, or sampling methods to characterize the bed material. In addition, the transport processes of sediment (bedload and suspended load) and wood in rivers will be examined, including the principles of incipient motion, and initiation of erosion or deposition processes.

In the second part of the lecture, the methods will be explained to quantify the bed load budget and the morphological changes (erosion, deposition) in river systems. Specifically, natural channel formation processes, different bed forms and plan forms of rivers (straight, meandering, braided) are examined.

The last part of the lecture focuses on the design of river engineering structures, including examples from an ongoing flood and river revitalization project at the Alpine Rhine in Austria and Switzerland.
Lecture notesHandouts and powerpoint presentations shown in the lecture can be downloaded via Moodle.
Literature1. «Flussbau» lecture notes of fall semester 2020 by Dr. Gian Reto Bezzola (available only in German at VAW teaching assistance)

2. Erosion and Sedimentation; Pierre Y. Julien

3. River Mechanics; Pierre Y. Julien
Prerequisites / NoticeRecommended lectures:
Hydrology (102-0293-AAL), Hydraulics I (101-0203-01L), and Hydraulic Engineering (101-0206-00L).

Short practical exercises (voluntary) will be offered throughout the semester to improve the application of the learned subjects.