Uncertainty Analysis Applied
to Numerical Models of
River Bed Morphology

By Hanneke van der Klis
December 2003
Delft University Press
ISBN: 90-407-2447-4
163 pages, Illustrated, 6 " x 9 "
$57.50 Paper Original


This is a Ph.D. dissertation. Knowledge of the behavior of a river is important in decision making on river management and in river engineering. One of the important river processes is the transport of sediment and the resulting changes of the river bed topography. These processes are studied in the field of river morphology. Much effort has been put into the development of sophisticated numerical models which simulate morphological changes of the river bed. These numerical models are based on a deterministic approach, that is, the results are presented in terms of the bed level at a certain time and location. However, the modeling of river morphology involves numerous uncertainties, for example the future river discharge, or the relation between the sediment transport and the flow conditions.

Knowledge of the effect of these uncertainties on the model results is essential for a meaningful interpretation of the computed river bed. To gain this knowledge, it is necessary to perform an uncertainty analysis. An uncertainty analysis includes the following actions: 1. making an inventory of the uncertainties involved, 2. identifying the uncertainties that have a relatively large effect on the model results and quantifying them, 3. quantifying the effect of those uncertainties on the model results, 4. interpreting the uncertainty in the model results. Contents include: Introduction, Case Studies, Uncertainties, The Synthesis of discharge hydrographs, Methods of Stochastic river morphology, Opportunities offered by uncertainty analysis, Discussion, Conclusions and Recommendations.

Civil Engineering
Delft Hydraulics Select Series 2

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