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A finite-element model study of the impact of the proposed I-326 crossing on flood stages of the Congaree River near Columbia, South Carolina

Open-File Report 81-1194

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Abstract

A two-dimensional finite element surface water model was used to study the hydraulic impact of the proposed Interstate Route 326 crossing of the Congaree River near Columbia, SC. The finite element model was assessed as a potential operational tool for analyzing complex highway crossings and other modifications of river flood plains. Infrared aerial photography was used to define regions of homogeneous roughness in the flood plain. Finite element networks approximating flood plain topography were designed using elements of three roughness types. High water marks established during an 8-yr flood that occurred in October 1976 were used to calibrate the model. The maximum flood of record, an approximately 100-yr flood that occurred in August 1908, was modeled in three cases: dikes on the right bank, dikes on the left bank, and dikes on both banks. In each of the three cases, simulations were performed both without and with the proposed highway embankments in place. Detailed information was obtained about backwater effects upstream from the proposed highway embankments, changes in flow distribution resulting from the embankments, and local velocities in the bridge openings. On the basis of results from the model study, the South Carolina Department of Highways and Public Transportation changed the design of several bridge openings. A simulation incorporating the new design for the case with dikes on the left bank indicated that both velocities in the bridge openings and backwater were reduced. A major problem in applying the model was the difficulty in predicting the network detail necessary to avoid local errors caused by roughness discontinuities and large depth gradients. (Lantz-PTT)

Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Report
Publication Subtype:
USGS Numbered Series
Title:
A finite-element model study of the impact of the proposed I-326 crossing on flood stages of the Congaree River near Columbia, South Carolina
Series title:
Open-File Report
Series number:
81-1194
Edition:
-
Year Published:
1981
Language:
ENGLISH
Publisher:
U.S. Geological Survey,
Description:
65 p., 8 over-size sheets, ill., maps ;28 cm.