HRI is contributing to various research lines, varying between local scale hydrodynamics to regional scale fluvial and/or coastal dynamics. Our approach and research methodology involves data collected from field survey campaigns, numerical modeling which is carried either solely or in combination with physical models, as well as analytical models. Our areas of focus include, sediment transport and morphodynamics in alluvial rivers, stream transport and dispersion of conservative and non-conservative matter, and the spread of buoyant plumes. We also have a history in the design and impact of river structures, protection against scour, sedimentation problems around emergent and submergent structures. Given the current global awareness on the impact of climate change, the Institute is also approaching a research line that is concerned with the impact of sea level rise on the reduction in sediment on deltas and river distributaries, beach morphology and shoreline changes.
The institute has a history of collaboration in research studies with international academic, research institutions. A collaboration between HRI and HR-Wallingford was focused on knowledge transfer and capacity building. Research collaboration with Deltares was focused on sediment transport and morphological related studies. One of the fruitful outcomes of this collaboration was building a mechanical bedload sampler for sand bed rivers (http://ascelibrary.org/doi/abs/10.1061/(ASCE)0733-9429(1994)120:12(1364)). Several scale and numerical models were used to model riverine and coastal systems internationally or abroad were carried in the Institute, such as examining the placement of submerged vanes in the De Wall River of the Netherlands, and the hydrodynamics and sedimentation problems at Ghezlan Power Plant in Saudi Arabi. Recently, the institute has been collaborating with the university of South Carolina on extensive studies of dam breach using physical models.
The transport of sediments, sorting, depositional patterns and the evolution of landforms are pieces of a puzzle we put together towards an understanding of fluvial dynamics. The investigation of the fate and transport of pollutants such as toxicants ultimately helps in the formation of contingency plans, while analyzing the transport of nutrients can help improving the ecosystem function. The previous lines of research address questions by authorities, stakeholders and decision makers on river management and the preservation of natural resources.
• Hydrodynamic controls on equilibrium and river morphology
• Anthropogenic impacts on fluvial and coastal morphology
• Impacts of climate change and sea level rise on delta dynamics
• Upriver saltwater intrusion
• River structure design, impact and scour protection
• Oil spill emulsion, mixing and dispersion