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Open Channel Hydraulics I - The Manning Equation

Engineer's, here is our online continuing education course material on Open Channel Hydraulics from the Harlan H. Bengtson, PhD, PE . You will earn 2 PDH continuing education training hour upon conclusion of the CEU Leaf quiz.

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Course Highlights

Flow of a liquid may take place either as open channel flow or pressure flow. Pressure flow takes place in a closed conduit such as a pipe, and pressure is the primary driving force for the flow. For open channel flow, on the other hand the flowing liquid has a free surface at atmospheric pressure and the driving force is gravity. Open channel flow takes place in natural channels like rivers and streams. It also occurs in manmade channels such as those used to transport wastewater and in circular sewers flowing partially full.

This course is intended for hydrologists, civil engineers, hydraulic engineers, highway engineers and environmental engineers. After completing this course you will have knowledge about the basic nature of flow in open channels and the common ways of classifying open channel flow (laminar or turbulent, steady state or unsteady state, uniform or non-uniform, and critical, subcritical or supercritical). Practice in the use of the Manning equation for a variety of uniform open channel flow calculations will be gained through several worked examples. Upon completing this course, you will be prepared to take more advanced open channel flow courses.

Engineer Learning Objectives:

At the conclusion of this course, the student will
  • Know the differences between laminar & turbulent, steady state & unsteady state, and uniform & non-uniform open channel flow.
  • Be able to calculate the hydraulic radius for flow of a specified depth in an open channel with specified cross-sectional shape and size.
  • Be able to calculate the Reynolds Number for a specified open channel flow and determine whether the flow will be laminar or turbulent flow.
  • Be able to use tables such as the examples given in this course to determine a value for Manning roughness coefficient for flow in a manmade or natural open channel.
  • Be able to use the Manning Equation to calculate volumetric flow rate, average velocity, Manning roughness coefficient, or channel bottom slope, if given adequate information about a reach of open channel flow.
  • Be able to use the Manning Equation, with an iterative procedure, to calculate normal depth for specified volumetric flow rate, channel bottom slope, channel shape & size, and Manning roughness coefficient for a reach of open channel flow.
  • Be able to carry out a variety of calculations for full or partially full flow under gravity in a circular pipe.

This is a handout style continuing education PDH class that comprehensively reviews the material.

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Online Format:

     Handout / Attachment

PDH Hours:


Engineer PDH Price: $45.00

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"Your concept of 'online' PE courses is both a timely and reasonably priced alternative. I wish I'd found CEU Leaf years ago."

David G. Gardner, P.E.

SVP (retired), Everett Prescott, Inc.

Gardiner, ME

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