Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name


Degree Program



Civil and Environmental Engineering

Major Professor

McCorquodale, J. Alex

Second Advisor

Georgiou, Ioannis

Third Advisor

Barbe, Donald

Fourth Advisor

Cothren, Gianna


The objective of this study was to determine if numerical models commonly used for large scale applications could also be used to model flow through flood control structures in the Rigolets Pass between Lake Borgne and Lake Pontchartrain. For this purpose a small scale physical model was built. It showed that bi-stable flow can develop downstream of a constriction. Small changes in the distribution of the approaching flow significantly impacted flows downstream of the constriction. This behavior could not be properly reproduced by a small scale 2-dimensional RMA2 model of identical dimensions. A large scale RMA2 model of the Rigolets testing possible locations and geometries of flood control structures showed that this pass is very sensitive to variations in the cross sectional flow area. Even minor reductions can significantly increase headlosses and velocities. To reduce negative impacts a flood control structure should be built in a wide and shallow area of the pass.


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