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An Introduction to HEC-RAS Culvert Hydraulics

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Instructor Information: Matthew Zeve, P.E. CFM, M.ASCE

Course Length: 1 Hour

Purpose and Background

This is a recording of the live webinar "An Introduction to HEC-RAS Culvert Hydraulics". The analysis of culvert performance is a common task faced by engineers working on transportation, land development, and flood control projects. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Hydrologic Engineering Center’s HEC-RAS software program is a widely used tool for various openchannel hydraulics analysis and design tasks. One facet of this software package, is an implementation of the Federal Highway Administration’s Hydraulic Design of Highway Culverts or HDS-5 document.

Due to the widespread use of HEC-RAS in the engineering community, it is not uncommon for the software to be applied in the analysis of existing and proposed culverts. However, the ease of use of the software does not always mean that the engineer has a full understanding of what the program is doing when performing the hydraulic calculations. The various choices for the different design variables involved in a culvert hydraulics analysis can quickly become confusing for an engineer who is not familiar with the HDS-5 document. In addition, improper selection of design variables could lead to erroneous results.

This seminar will focus on explaining the details involved in a culvert hydraulics analysis within HEC-RAS. The fundamental hydraulic variables will be discussed along with the solution techniques employed within the software program to calculate head losses through a culvert. The presentation will draw heavily from the HDS-5 document and use several analysis examples from the HEC-RAS software.

Learning Outcomes/Benefits

  • Learn basic culvert hydraulics within HEC-RAS
  • Discuss the different hydraulic variables used in culvert analysis
  • Become familiar with culvert analysis input and output

Intended Audience

Civil engineers seeking an introductory level course on culvert hydraulics analysis using the HEC-RAS software program will benefit from this webinar.

Webinar Outline

  • Introduction to HEC-RAS and HDS-5
  • Culvert hydraulics variables
  • Inlet and outlet control hydraulics
  • Implementation with HEC-RAS
  • Sample input and output analysis
  • Step-by-step example for simple culvert analysis