Implication of the flow resistance formulae on the prediction of flood wave propagation

Yongwon Seo, Sun Young Park, Arthur R. Schmidt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This study examines the difference in the predictions of flood wave propagation in open channels depending on the flow resistance formulae, such as the Chézy and Manning’s equation. The celerity and diffusion coefficient are functions of the channel geometry, slope, roughness as well as the resistance formulae. The results suggest that substituting the Chézy equation with Manning’s equation results in different characteristics of flood propagation, which are consistent regardless of the cross-sectional geometry except for a circular cross-section: increasing celerity and decreasing diffusion coefficient. The celerity is more sensitive to the selection of resistance formulae than the diffusion coefficient. Geometry has a greater effect on the celerity and diffusion coefficient, and consequently on the resulting hydrographs. Manning’s equation results in a larger difference in celerity and diffusion coefficient compared to Chézy equation regardless of the water depth. Overall, this study shows that the selection of resistance formulae is important in terms of the resulting hydrographs and peak flow. EDITOR Z.W.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)683-695
Number of pages13
JournalHydrological Sciences Journal
Issue number4
StatePublished - Mar 11 2016


  • Manning’s equation
  • flood wave propagation
  • resistance formula
  • the Chézy equation
  • the width function-based instantaneous unit hydrograph

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Water Science and Technology


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