Many of our native fish migrate to access habitats for feeding, reproducing and to complete their lifecycles. Unfortunately, they’re often challenged by obstacles like weirs and culverts. These disrupt the natural flow of water and can prevent fish from getting where they need to be.
In a new piece of research, WSP Principal Stormwater Engineer Mark Groves, Ecologist Mark Hansen and Graduate Water Engineer Francesco Martin harnessed the power of computational fluid dynamics and 3D models to see how different river channel designs affect the flow of water in upstream catchments.
Fluid dynamics hinges on equations developed in the Victorian era by French physicist Claude-Louis Navier and Irish mathematician George Stokes. The WSP team used fluid dynamics and 3D computer models to simulate eight river channel designs. Rocks were strategically placed in the models to break up the flow of water and provide lower velocity resting areas for our small bodied native fish.