Model Descriptions

The River Mechanics models and tools were originally developed by Dr. Danny Fread and Janice Sylvestre at the National Weather Service (NWS) from 1974 - 2005. These models were developed to address real-time problems related to hydraulic processes and to provide solutions that greatly improve river and flood forecasts.  Comprehensive models like FLDWAV were developed to handle complex river systems where hydrologic routing techniques were inadequate; specialty models like BREACH were developed to handle specific hydraulic conditions.  Although they provide accurate results under both flood and drought conditions, these models are usually data intensive and require hydraulics expertise to be used properly.  They may also have stability issues because they are trying to mimic real-world conditions which are intrinsically unstable. 

Less complex models like SMPDBK were developed to predict the effects of phenomena when the warning-response time is insufficient for the use of more comprehensive models (e.g., imminent dam failure).  Without sacrificing accuracy, these models require significantly less data.  To accommodate the range of hydraulics expertise available during an emergency, default values were set in the models so that reasonable results could be produced with very limited data.

Visualization tools (FLDAT, FLDVIEW, GUIs for BREACH and SMPDBK) were developed to serve as visual aids in model building, and to help modelers improve their analyses of the hydraulic effects of flooding.

The table shows the relationship between the NWS models and the RiverMechanics models.

 

 Model  Description  Last NWS Release Latest RM Release

SMPDBK GUI

sdb j

SMPDBK determines the dam breach outflow from a simplified equation and routes the flow downstream using curves generated by DAMBRK

 1991
NWS SMPDBK

2004
SMPDBK GUI

2009
SDBK

2009
SMPDBK GUI

 FLDWAV arrow3FLDWAVE

  fldwave    fldat

FLDWAV determines the dam breach outflow, and simultaneously routes the flow through complex river systems using the unsteady flow equations. 
FLDAT
is a GUI which displays the FLDWAV input and output.

2.0.2.2 (2005)
NWS FLDWAV

2005
FLDAT

2010 FLDWAVE

----

BREACH  arrow3 BRCH

brch j4

 BREACH erodes the dam or embankment and computes the breach parameters which are then fed into FLDWAV or SMPDBK.  The BREACH GUI displays the BREACH input and output.

1999
NWS BREACH

2005
BREACH GUI

2018
BRCH

2018
BRCH-J