Glenn Moglen authors “Fundamentals of Open Channel Flow”

Glenn Moglen, Virginia Tech Professor and Director of the Occoquan Watershed Monitoring Laboratory in the Charles E. Via, Jr. Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering recently authored a book titled “Fundamentals of Open Channel Flow,” published by CRC Press. The book was a culmination of over three years of work and was released on April 17, 2015.

Open Channel Flow is typically a senior-level elective in the undergraduate curriculum of civil and environmental engineering students who specialize in the Water Resources area.  At Virginia Tech, this course is CEE 4324: Open Channel Flow. The book covers all the material that is typically part of a first course in Open Channel Flow plus an additional chapter that covers the basics of sediment transport.

The book provides “detailed explanations of the basics of open channel flow using examples and animation, and offers guidance on the practical application of graphical and computational tool,” according to CRC Press. It exposes readers to current industry-standard tools by outlining current theory with examples and illustrations to explain the concepts highlighted in the book. Over one hundred illustrations are presented in the book and 16 others are offered as downloadable animations. Powerpoint slides and solutions to the end-of-chapter problems are also provided for instructors.

The book has several unique and defining features: animations of open channel flow, an analytical equation relating alternate depths in a rectangular channel, and a focus on the use of modern computational tools.  Notably, the derivation of the alternate depth equation is an original finding that is not found in any book or publication of any kind.  Collectively these features set this book apart from other open channel flow textbooks.

Electronic material associated with the book includes animations that illustrate movement that shows the continuum of steady-state solutions to a set of similar problems in which one input is allowed to vary. To view supplementary animations that illustrate various classic open channel flow problems and concepts, visit Moglen’s webpage at

Moglen joined Virginia Tech as a faculty member in 2008 and was named Director of the Occoquan Watershed Monitoring Laboratory in 2014. Prior to Virginia Tech, he worked for the National Weather Service, U.S. Geological Survey and the University of Maryland. His areas of research include the effects of urbanization on flooding and water quality, water supply planning in the face of climate change and urbanization, application of GIS to hydrologic analysis and modeling, and animation of open channel flow phenomena. He has almost 50 journal publications, but this is his first published book.

For more information about the book and to read reviews, visit CRC Press’ website at