Module details for Water and Environmental Engineering 2


The module introduces unsteady open channel flow and sediment transport in open channels.


The aim of this Module is to provide the student with the knowledge required for solving unsteady open channel flow problems and for evaluating and predicting sediment transport rate and scouring at bridges.

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this module the student should be able to:

1.  Critically analyse approaches for solving unsteady open channel flow problems.

2.  Predict sediment transport rate and loads.

3.  Evaluate scour at bridges.

Indicative Content

1 Introduction

Governing equations for unsteady open channel flows. Numerical solution methods: Explicit and implicit finite difference schemes; and channel systems.

2 Unsteady flow models

Example of a model for unsteady flow. Finite difference equations. Solution of finite difference equations.

3 Channel routing methods

The Muskingum method. The Muskingum-Cunge method.

4 Sediment transport

Sediment transport and properties. Sediment transport mechanisms: bed load and suspended load. Predicting sediment transport load in alluvial channels.

5 Scour at bridges

Contraction scour. Scour at piers and abutments.

Teaching and Learning Work Loads

Teaching and Learning Method Hours
Lecture 22
Tutorial/Seminar 16
Practical Activity 8
Assessment 60
Independent 94
Total 200

Guidance notes

SCQF Level - The Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework provides an indication of the complexity of award qualifications and associated learning and operates on an ascending numeric scale from Levels 1-12 with SCQF Level 10 equating to a Scottish undergraduate Honours degree.

Credit Value – The total value of SCQF credits for the module. 20 credits are the equivalent of 10 ECTS credits. A full-time student should normally register for 60 SCQF credits per semester.


We make every effort to ensure that the information on our website is accurate but it is possible that some changes may occur prior to the academic year of entry. The modules listed in this catalogue are offered subject to availability during academic year 2021/22 , and may be subject to change for future years.