Errors of kinematic-wave and diffusion-wave approximations for time-independent flows Academic Article uri icon


  • Time-independent (or steady-state) cases of planar (overland) flow were treated. Errors of the kinematic-wave and diffusion-wave approximations were derived for three types of boundary conditions: zero flow at the upstream end, and critical flow depth and zero depth-gradient at the downstream end. The diffusion wave approximation was found to be in excellent agreement with the dynamic wave approximation, with error in the range of 1-2% for values of KF 02 (≥7.5). Even for small values of KF 20 (e.g., KF 20 =0.75), the errors were typically in the range of 11-15%. The accuracy of the diffusion wave approximation was greatly influenced by the downstream boundary condition. The error of the kinematic wave approximation was found to vary from 7 to 13% in the regions 0.05≤x≤0.95 for KF 02 =0.75 and was greater than 30% for KF 02 =0.75. © 1995 Kluwer Academic Publishers.

author list (cited authors)

  • Singh, V. P., & Aravamuthan, V.

citation count

  • 17

publication date

  • September 1995