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Unsteady flow simulation in natural rivers is often complicated by meandering channels of compound section. Hydraulic properties and the length of the wetted channel may vary significantly as a meandering river inundates its adjacent floodplain. The one-dimensional, unsteady, open-channel flow equations can be extended to simulate floods in channels of compound section. It will be shown that equations derived from the addition of differential equations individually describing flow in main and overbank channels do not in general conserve mass when overbank and main channels are of different lengths.
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Mass conservation: 1-D open channel flow equations