Hydraulic Structures Analysis & Modeling

The hydraulics group at the Utah Water Research Laboratory (UWRL) uses physical and numerical hydraulic models, to solve all types of pipe and open channel flow problems. Selected examples of modeling experience include:

  • Dams
  • Natural and manmade channels
  • Spillway basins
  • Outlet works
  • Energy dissipaters
  • Control structures
  • Pumping pits
  • Intake structures
  • Sewer and storm water systems
  • Fish screens and bypasses
  • Pipe networks

UWRL staff excel in identifying problematic hydraulic conditions, evaluating potential solutions, providing cost-effective recommendations, and reducing design risk, including vulnerability to natural calamity, malfunction, and attack.

Physical Model Studies

Physical Model Studies are invaluable in designing and rehabilitating hydraulic structures, improving the safety of existing hydraulic structures and reducing construction costs. The average construction cost savings of six prior model studies performed at the Utah Water Research Laboratory were approximately 16 times the cost of the model.

When a structure is damaged or deemed unsafe, engineered modifications can be developed using scale models of the prototype. The experienced engineer can immediately recognize design problems in the model and develop appropriate solutions. Observations of flow patterns, excessive scour, extreme turbulence, noise, concentrated velocities, etc., provide immediate information about design flaws and magnitude of risk. Quick and easy changes can be made to the model at minimal cost to optimize flow conditions and to provide a safe and economical structure.

Hydraulic Structures

The Utah Water Research Laboratory offers a range of services for Hydraulic Structures, including design, analysis, physical modeling, computer modeling, and field testing. These studies ultimately increase the safety of the hydraulic structure by identifying and eliminating potential problems.


Hydraulic Structures Analysis and Modeling

Similitude Examples