The Mississippi Department of Transportation (MDOT) is seeing the value of incorporating 2D hydraulic modeling into its hydraulic analyses. 2D modeling improves the understanding of the complex interactions between waterways and transportation assets. MDOT used 2D modeling to analyze a particularly complicated project on Lynch Creek in Jackson, MS.

The Lynch Creek project included frequent changes involving land coverage, terrain, and flow direction. The modeling had to accommodate merging floodplains, multiple hydraulic structures, and skewed flow.

In this case, 2D modeling accommodated the complexity and frequent changes at the location by capturing and visualizing the site conditions with a level of detail that couldn’t be conveyed through 1D modeling. Using a 1D approach with a series of cross sections would have proven highly impractical to model the complex conditions and would have required many assumptions.

The 2D models also offered MDOT superior options for presenting results to the general public and other project stakeholders. With Lynch Creek, 1D modeling would have provided results only where cross sections were placed, while 2D modeling provided results over the entire project area and could be rendered in an easily interpreted, visual format. The images showed detailed water flow paths, elevation, and velocity.


Overhead image of US 80 and I-20 where Lynch Creek crosses. Overlaid is a graphical representation of flood extents with a color scale representing water surface elevation and arrows showing flow direction.

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