What is the difference between the kinematic wave option and the dynamic wave option in the SWMM solver?

Product(s): SewerGEMS, CivilStorm
Version(s): 10.XX.XX.XX, 08.11.XX.XX
Area: Calculations


What is the difference between the Kinematic Wave option and the dynamic wave option in the SWMM solver?


As noted in the EPA SWMM help documentation. 

Kinematic Wave Method:

"This routing method solves the continuity equation along with a simplified form of the momentum equation in each conduit. The latter requires that the slope of the water surface equal the slope of the conduit.

The maximum flow that can be conveyed through a conduit is the full normal flow value. Any flow in excess of this entering the inlet node is either lost from the system or can pond atop the inlet node and be re-introduced into the conduit as capacity becomes available.

Kinematic wave routing allows flow and area to vary both spatially and temporally within a conduit. This can result in attenuated and delayed outflow hydrographs as inflow is routed through the channel. However this form of routing cannot account for backwater effects, entrance/exit losses, flow reversal, or pressurized flow, and is also restricted to dendritic network layouts. It can usually maintain numerical stability with moderately large time steps, on the order of 1 to 5 minutes. If the aforementioned effects are not expected to be significant then this alternative can be an accurate and efficient routing method, especially for long-term simulations." 

Dynamic Wave Routing

"Dynamic Wave routing solves the complete one-dimensional Saint Venant flow equations and therefore produces the most theoretically accurate results. These equations consist of the continuity and momentum equations for conduits and a volume continuity equation at nodes.

With this form of routing it is possible to represent pressurized flow when a closed conduit becomes full, such that flows can exceed the full normal flow value. Flooding occurs when the water depth at a node exceeds the maximum available depth, and the excess flow is either lost from the system or can pond atop the node and re-enter the drainage system.

Dynamic wave routing can account for channel storage, backwater, entrance/exit losses, flow reversal, and pressurized flow. Because it couples together the solution for both water levels at nodes and flow in conduits it can be applied to any general network layout, even those containing multiple downstream diversions and loops. It is the method of choice for systems subjected to significant backwater effects due to downstream flow restrictions and with flow regulation via weirs and orifices. This generality comes at a price of having to use much smaller time steps, on the order of a minute or less (SWMM can automatically reduce the user-defined maximum time step as needed to maintain numerical stability)."

Both of these entries are taken from EPA SWMM help documentation. You may also find more information by doing an internet search.