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11R38. Open Channel Hydraulics. - TW Sturm (Georgia Inst of Tech, Atlanta GA 30332). McGraw-Hill, New York. 2001. 493 pp. ISBN 0-07-062445-3.

Reviewed by J Tuzson (1220 Maple Ave, Evanston IL 60202).

The contents of the book begins with a somewhat stuffy review of fluid mechanic fundamentals. The Buckingham theorem is never used, not even by the author. Dimensionless groups emerge from non-dimensionalizing equations, which has great advantages, but also the disadvantage of eliminating the need of balancing units and thus avoid errors of calculation. Specific mathematical derivations in subsequent chapters also reach back to fundamentals. The basic equations are cast in practical, well-proven traditional forms best suited for treating open channel flow. The author relies on and provides ample references of earlier work leading up to the present status of the technology. The material of the book could be subdivided into the three major subjects of Uniform Flow, Gradually Varied Flow, and Unsteady Flow. Much practical empirical data is presented including the standards of civil engineering construction practices. Flow in real rivers and past man-made objects is treated in detail. Moving from the relatively simple uniform flow case onto more complex unsteady flows, modern solution methods and computer programs are introduced.

The introduction of the chapter on unsteady flow states that the subject of water waves is not included, which is regrettable. At least a short chapter and key references would have enhanced the value of the book. The sudden introduction of celerity or infinitesimal wave propagation speed on page 25 suggests that a better foundation should have been laid. The subject imposes itself with a vengeance in the section on characteristics. Traveling wave energy, for example downstream of a hydraulic jump, should not be neglected. The analogy between open channel flow, water hammer waves, and compressible flow admits the same mathematical treatment and can be a powerful conceptual inspiration. The concepts of sub-and supercritical flow and sub- and supersonic flow are identical. In open channel flow, one can actually see the features and shock waves of supersonic flow. These analogies have even been used to model unsteady supersonic flow in water table experiments. The rules for constructing small scale river, estuary or harbor models, and simulating tides and storm waves are totally missing from the book. Tidal waves would deserve at least a reference, even it as old as Lamb.

Open Channel Hydraulics would be appropriate for practicing professionals as well as students. Numerical calculation examples are included in each chapter.