Conservativeness in Hydraulic Engineering Studies

by Philip A. Burns, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Baltimore, United States,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Hydraulic Engineering


Hydraulic engineers routinely make a variety of assumptions during the course of a study. Assumptions, once made, usually become incorporated into the fabric of the study and are seldom re-evaluated. It may be that an assumption, originally conservative, has implications later in the study that are not conservative. It remains important to conceptualize the potential implications an assumption may have on future aspects of the study during the study. It may also be appropriate to make contradictory assumptions during the course of a study in order to be conservative for all critical aspects of study results. This paper explores a variety of assumptions/estimates and examines how, in order to be conservative, contradicting assumptions and estimates may need to be made depending on the questions being asked.

Subject Headings: Hydraulic engineering | Hydraulic structures | Flow control | Channel flow | Water flow | Water storage | Hydraulic design | Hydraulics

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