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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Sarah N. Giddings
CEE 474
Seattle Campus

Hydraulics of Sediment Transport

Introduction to sediment transport in steady flows with emphasis on physical principles governing the motion of sediment particles. Topics include sediment characteristics, initiation of particle motion, particle suspension, bedforms, streambed roughness analysis, sediment discharge formulae, and modeling of scour and deposition in rivers and channels. Prerequisite: CEE 347.

Class description

CEE 474 (Sediment Transport) is an important course for students pursuing careers in water-related topics in Civil & Environmental Engineering and those interested in the dynamics that drive sediment transport. The course focuses on developing a foundation for understanding and predicting sediment transport including a review of open channel flow, details of sediment transport, and applications relevant to engineers and scientists. Students will learn to predict the onset of sediment motion and the suspended, bed, and total sediment loads. Students will gain insight into relevant applications such as channel design, bedform-flow feedback in rivers, scour, and coastal erosion.

Student learning goals

Develop a working definition of sediment types and sediment properties.

Determine the mechanisms responsible for initiating sediment motion, how these depend on channel flow parameters and sediment properties and be able to predict when sediment motion will occur.

Estimate the dominant mode of sediment transport under given conditions and sediment types.

Compute the bedload, suspended load, and total sediment transport rates using models presented in the sediment transport literature.

Predict how bedforms are formed, under what conditions different bedform types form, and how bedforms alter the flow.

Apply sediment transport concepts to example scenarios such as dam sedimentation, transport under waves, turbidity currents or river channel migration.

General method of instruction

This course will be presented as a mixture of in-class lectures and group problem solving. Student participation including reading, assignments, and in-class participation is critical for the success of the student and the class as a whole. Also important is student feedback to allow the instructor to address unclear concepts and improve her teaching approach.

Recommended preparation

Class assignments and grading

There will be 5 assignments, which will generally be handed out on Fridays and due on the following Friday in class. The due date is FIRM. Assignments handed in late will be deducted 10% per day. If for some reason you will not be able to meet that deadline please discuss this with me well in advance of the due date. I encourage you to consult with each other on the homework, but the work that you hand in must be entirely your own.

Grades will be assigned weighted mostly towards assignments (40%) and the remainder split amongst short quizzes, a midterm, a final, and final in-class presentations.


The information above is intended to be helpful in choosing courses. Because the instructor may further develop his/her plans for this course, its characteristics are subject to change without notice. In most cases, the official course syllabus will be distributed on the first day of class.
Last Update by Sarah N. Giddings
Date: 03/11/2013