Principles of River Hydraulics
The intention is to collect my lecture notes for the introduction to River Engineering, a subject I have been teaching to master’s students in Environmental and Land Engineering at the University of Trento since 1987. This course is divided into two parts: the former is devoted to the fundamentals of river hydraulics, and the latter deals with calculation and design tools used for river restoration. In full regard to the location, the course especially focuses on mountain and piedmont streams which are subject to intense sediment transport and continuous morphological variations. This first volume contains the key topics of natural watercourse hydraulics. I deliberately left out, and took for granted, the topics conventionally dealt with in manuals of hydraulics, hydrodynamics and hydrology, as well as the problem of unsteady river flows addressed with the traditional fixed-bed approach.
On the other hand, some hydraulics topics usually neglected in traditional textbooks, for example, vegetation and macro-roughness effects on flows, are considered in the first chapter, in that they are typical of several gravel bed rivers. The other chapters are entirely devoted to mobile-bed river hydraulics. I also tried to emphasize a few aspects which in the past may have been neglected for a limited knowledge of phenomena but currently required to identify and solve some problems, for example, the effect of nonuniform sediments and mathematical modeling. The structure of the book is the same as many river hydraulics or sediment transport manuals, both classical like those by H. Walter Graf, M. Yalin, and Pieter Ph. Jansen et al., and most recent like Pierre Julien’s; it also takes some important internet contributions by Gary Parker into account. Sometimes, the formulation of the problems may appear too analytical, which is undoubtedly helpful for engineering students but rather complex for those who will use it as a reference book for applications. In my opinion, however, the study of sediment transport and fluvial morphology has always been too empirical, without any attempt to take a theoretical look at the subject. Nowadays, such a method is outdated: as a matter of fact, design choices demonstrated a reckless disregard of long-term consequences on watercourse dynamics and, last but not least, hydraulic engineers were highly competent in the fixed-bed hydraulics, but somewhat reluctant to replace their conceptual frameworks inadequate for the study of natural water streams which are simply mobile-boundary flows. This book first appeared in Italian in 1999 under the title Principi di idraulica fluviale (Principles of River Hydraulics); this is the English version, revised and expanded. Special thanks are due to Giuseppina Zummo for her professional competence and accuracy in the English translation. I would like to thank Paolo Scarfiello for his valuable help with several graphs and charts of the book. I am deeply grateful to my colleagues of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Trento for the precious moments of discussion on nearly all the topics covered in the book, especially to Michele Larcher, Giorgio Rosatti, and Luigi Fraccarollo. Finally, thank to Giulia Rossi for her precious help in reviewing the page proofs of the book. Trento, Italy
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