Vienna University of Technology

KW3 - River Engineering

Information Page

Latest changes - Wednesday 31 January 2018

Institute of Hydraulic and Water Resources Engineering

The River Rhine near Karlsruhe, showing the old course, and "improved" straightened path

And similarly, closer to home, our own Danube

Amazon River

Free water jet, by Leonardo da Vinci, the world's best-known hydraulic engineer

River Adda, Northern Italy


News items

Wednesday 31 January

One student found a typographical error. The equation at the bottom of p32 should have had a factor of 1/\kappa (\kappa being the von Karman constant) in front of it. It should have read \gamma = 1/\kappa * log ....

I corrected it, and simplified the notes slightly, abandoning the common usage of 30/e = 12, and changing an equation number. There are three options:

  1. Just insert by hand the factor 1/\kappa in the right side of the equation at the bottom of p32. The notes would now be correct.
  2. If you can (and Adobe does not make this easy unless you have the full product), replace pages 31-35 and 47-48 with the slightly simpler versions of Lecture-slides-large-031-035.pdf and Lecture-slides-large-047-048.pdf, OR
  3. Use the now corrected Lecture-slides-large-001-137.pdf and Lecture-slides-small-001-137.pdf.

Please ask me if there is anything I can do to help make these changes.

Wednesday 17 January

Typical questions that could be asked in the examination are here: Typical-questions.pdf

Thursday 7 December

I have put worked solutions of Tutorial Sheets 1, 2 and 3 on our website, as described below.

Wednesday 6 December

Tutorial sheet 3 can be found here.

Wednesday 29 November

Tutorial sheet 2 can be found here. Page 1 contains some exercises to do. Page 2 contains some colour photographs, which it should not be necessary to print. Read and think about the accompanying worked solutions 4 and 5, showing some elementary flood propagation calculations.

Saturday 21 October

I have found that my TU mail is giving difficulties. If you want to contact me please use

Lecture Notes

Full size, colour overhead slides:

Lecture-slides-large-001-137.pdf (replacement pages included, 31.01.2018)

Reduced size, Black &White, suitable for printing:

Lecture-slides-small-001-137.pdf (replacement pages included, 31.01.2018)

Tutorial sheets

The worked solutions have all been produced using mathematical software. I thought it was better to do that so that students can see the working. In some places it might have been better to have used a spreadsheet, but they never really explain much.

Tutorial Sheet 1, Worked solution to Tutorial Sheet 1

Tutorial Sheet 2, Worked solution to Tutorial Sheet 2

Tutorial Sheet 3, Worked solution to Tutorial Sheet 3


Thursday 09:00 - 10:30, Karlsgasse 13, Seminarraum 268/1 (1st floor)

Course description

  • Introduction
  • Review of energy and momentum
  • Resistance in streams
  • The effects of obstacles on streams
  • Reservoir routing
  • The one-dimensional long wave equations
  • Unsteady flow - flood routing
  • Steady gradually-varied non-uniform flow
  • Measurements - Hydrography/Hydrometry
  • Loose-boundary hydraulics - sediment stability and transport
  • Water quality

A parallel course will be presented on occasions during the lectures which will refer to some parts of the Numerical Methods lecture notes


A Glossary of Terms in Hydraulic Engineering - contains translations between English-German-Spanish-Italian-French-Portuguese. They are not sorted alphabetically, so it is probably best to use the search facility (CTL F). If you see any errors in German or English, please tell me. Dr Freddy Flórez has corrected the Spanish!

Fluid Mechanics, River Hydraulics, and Floods - An introductory lecture I gave to a group of students in Melbourne in February 2011, with reference to the floods that happened in Australia at that time - and caused my mother and I to evacuate first from the farm and then from the town.

Tutorial sheets & worked solutions

Here are collected sheets from previous years: Tutorial Sheets



Kumar Links to Hydrology Resources

Visual resources

Prof. Hubert Chanson's Gallery of Photographs
IAHR Media Library - photographs and videos
Photographs of rivers
Photographs of rivers in Indonesia


Lecturer: Dr John Fenton,

Mobile: +43 664 7313 1035, Institute: +43 158801 22245

Software packages

HEC-RAS - US Army freeware for numerical solution of river problems
Catchment Modelling Toolkit- Australian freeware for solution of basin problems
USGS Water Resources Applications Software


Crocodile - usually neglected by theory ...

Devil's Bridge, River Serchio, Tuscany

Snowy River, Australia, with willows, introduced species, growth out of control

Upstream pier profile of Pont de la Concorde, Montréal with sharp upstream edge to break ice.

Maintained and authorised by: John Fenton
Last modified:  31 January 2018

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