Flanders Hydraulics Research studies the impact of human activity and nature on water systems and the consequences for shipping. It advises the Flemish Government and private organizations.

Flanders Hydraulics Research in a few words

Flanders Hydraulics Research is a center of expertise of the Department of Mobility and Public Works of the Flemish Government, focusing on waterways, coastal and water-related structures built by humans. It advises the Flemish Government regarding the navigability and safety of waterways and Belgian coast, but also supports private institutions and international organisations that request its expertise.

Flanders Hydraulics Research examines the impact of human activity on water systems and the consequences for sludge movement, morphological developments, nature and shipping navigation. In order to carry out its tasks and to develop innovative solutions, it has at its disposal a wide range of physical model installations, in situ measuring instruments and numerical models.

Why HPC?

Numerical models describe in 1D, 2D or 3D the tidal and wave-driven currents, sediment transports and soil changes based on the shallow water equations (simplified Navier-Stokes equations for free-surface flows). 3D CFD models are also used for complex flows in and around structures built by humans, and for ship’s hulls and rudders.

In addition to the in-house computing capacity, VSC infrastructure is used to do calculations on larger models. One of these models is the Scaldismodel. This is a 3D finite element model built using the TELEMAC-MASCARET suite of solvers. The model comprises the entire Belgian coast and estuary of the river Schelde (roughly 900.000 elements horizontal and 5 σ-layers, totalling about 4.500.000 elements). The model is currently applied to study the effects on the tide and sludge movement of potential future human interventions in the top sea part of the Schelde estuary. To this end, different combinations of possible interventions are simulated and analyzed.

Benefits of the VSC

Typically, 9 nodes are used on a VSC cluster (180 cores). Per scenario, a period of 3 months is simulated. The calculation time on the VSC cluster is on average 11 days per scenario.

“Access to the VSC infrastructure enables Flanders Hydraulics Research to efficiently calculate a large number of potential scenarios and analyze them for effects on tide, flow, nature and shipping, shaping our advice to the Flemish Government."