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James A. Higgs, M.S.C.E., B.S.C.E.

Hydraulic Engineer
Bureau of Reclamation
Hydraulic Investigations and Laboratory Services Group
Denver, Colorado

Filling of an investigated fishway for Robles dam.

Jim's Current Computational Fluid Dynamics Projects

Jim's Past Computational Fluid Dynamics Projects

Robles - Proposed Streaming Flow Fishway.   This study examines 2 proposed fishways for the Robles Dam for upstream fish passage.

Roza Dam.   This study is investigating the hydraulics environment effecting downstream fish passage in the Yakima River. It is considering various withdrawals that include the canal, above the roller gates with and without a proposed modification, below the rollergates, and fixed discharges through the fish bypass and fishway.

Nimbus Dam - Proposed Fishway Study.   This study is investigating flow conditions and embankment errosion concerns.

Proposed Folsom Outlet Works - Intake Study.   This study investigated the hydraulic impacts on the proposed enlargement of Folsom Dam.

Flow Conditions at Bumping Lake Emergency Spillway.   This study investigated inconsistencies of a 1-dimenstional analysis of the spillway discharges, and had a very interesting conclusion.

Shasta Temperature Control Device CFD Modeling Study . The purpose of this CFD modeling effort is to optimize cold water storage by calculating release temperatures based on TCD open gate position, forebay temperature profile in the reservoir, penstock discharge, and reservoir water level.

Investigation of the Proposed Lake Plant Pumping Plant . Review of proposed design for compliance with the Hydrauilic Institute Standards for Pumps, recommendedations for modifications, and computational flow analysis of a single pump can for initial and several proposed alternatives.

All-American Canal and Drop 2 Outlet Canal Confluence.   Computational Fluid Dynamics study to investigate the confluence of this new canal section and the All American Canal. Headloss, waves, and left bank water surface elevation (canal bank run up) were investigated for several operational variations of the new structure. In addition, sedimentation potential and safety concerns for swimmers in the canal were also evaluated. All simulations assumed a steady and uniform velocity distribution at either/or the Drop 2 and siphon outfalls.

Selected Reports of Physical Model Studies

Granite Reef Diversion Dam Hydraulic Model Study for Salt River Project, Phoenix, Arizona, December 1995. . This study determined the stage-discharge characteristics of the ogee crest, determined the spillway apron length at the existing elevation that will retain the hydraulic jump for various flows, designed and tested sills that to convert the existing apron to an energy dissipater that will force the hydraulic jump on the existing apron and reduce erosion downstream, and designed and test a stepped spillway overlay to dissipate energy and to retain the hydraulic jump on the existing apron, and measured velocities in the modeled river channel downstream from the recommended alternative to determine the need for additional channel protection.  

Friant Dam Spillway Rehabilitation Hydraulic Model Study, written for the Mid-Pacific Region, July 1996. This scale model investigation provides information pertaining to the hydraulic performance of proposed modifications to the existing spillway of Friant Dam. Various configurations of the spillway were modeled, as well as various air-inflated rubber-gates to aid in the design. Other related purposes include: Optimize the approach structure for placement of the rubber gate and determine the head-discharge relationship of the modified structure at various reservoir water surface elevations. Test for and minimize effects of negative pressures on deflated rubber gates. Detect occurrence of rubber gate undulation and V-notch formation. Determine head-discharge relationship of rubber gates at different gate heights. Develop a gate positioning criteria with consideration of the stilling basin performance and hydraulic jump sweep out.

Hydraulic Model Investigation of Carter Lake Reservoir Outlet Works Modification - For Northern Colorado Water Conservancy District - Loveland, Colorado - March 1993.

Powerpoint presentations

Draft: Four Case Studies of Numeric Flow Simulations with Flow-3D. Presentation on November 3, 2008 discussing simulations that concerned fish and fish facilities.

Numeric Simulation Programs and Tools. Presentation on September 4, 2008 on Flow-3D's newer capabilities, SRH-2D, and various tools and approaches to create the simulations.

Searchable Publications

Computational fluid dynamics (CFD) is one of the branches of fluid mechanics that uses numerical methods and algorithms to solve and analyze problems that involve fluid flows. Computers are used to perform the millions of calculations required to simulate the interaction of fluids and gases with the complex surfaces used in engineering.

The fundamental basis of any CFD problem are the Navier-Stokes equations, which define any single-phase fluid flow.


Mailing Address
Bureau of Reclamation
Mail Code 86-68460
PO Box 25007
Denver, CO 80225-0007

Phone/Fax Numbers
Phone: 303-445-2155
Fax: 720-544-0552

Package Delivery Address

Bureau of Reclamation
Bldg. 67, Rm. 152, 86-68460
Denver Federal Center
6th Avenue and Kipling St.
Denver, CO 80225-0007


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Last reviewed: 10/28/08