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Published literature on the application of the finite-element method to solving the equations of two-dimensional surface-water flow in the horizontal plane is reviewed in this report. The finite-element method is ideally suited to modeling two-dimensional flow over complex topography with spatially variable resistance. A two-dimensional finite-element surface-water flow model with depth and vertically averaged velocity components as dependent variables allows the user great flexibility in defining geometric features such as the boundaries of a water body, channels, islands, dikes, and embankments.
The following topics are reviewed in this report: alternative formulations of the equations of two-dimensional surface-water flow in the horizontal plane; basic concepts of the finite-element method; discretization of the flow domain and representation of the dependent flow variables; treatment of boundary conditions; discretization of the time domain; methods for modeling bottom, surface, and lateral stresses; approaches to solving systems of nonlinear equations; techniques for solving systems of linear equations; finite-element alternatives to Galerkin's method of weighted residuals; techniques of model validation; and preparation of model input data. References are listed in the final chapter.
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Review of literature on the finite-element solution of the equations of two-dimensional surface-water flow in the horizontal plane