Transient wave scattering and its influence on transient analysis and leak detection in Urban water supply systems: Theoretical analysis and numerical validation

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5 Citations (Scopus)


This paper investigates the impacts of non-uniformities of pipe diameter (i.e., an inhomogeneous cross-sectional area along pipelines) on transient wave behavior and propagation in water supply pipelines. The multi-scale wave perturbation method is firstly used to derive analytical solutions for the amplitude evolution of transient pressure wave propagation in pipelines, considering regular and random variations of cross-sectional area, respectively. The analytical analysis is based on the one-dimensional (1D) transient wave equation for pipe flow. Both derived results show that transient waves can be attenuated and scattered significantly along the longitudinal direction of the pipeline due to the regular and random non-uniformities of pipe diameter. The obtained analytical results are then validated by extensive 1D numerical simulations under different incident wave and non-uniform pipe conditions. The comparative results indicate that the derived analytical solutions are applicable and useful to describe the wave scattering effect in complex pipeline systems. Finally, the practical implications and influence of wave scattering effects on transient flow analysis and transient-based leak detection in urban water supply systems are discussed in the paper.
Original languageEnglish
Article number789
JournalWater (Switzerland)
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 13 Oct 2017


  • Leak detection
  • Non-uniformities
  • Transient modelling
  • Transient wave
  • Water supply pipeline
  • Wave scattering

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Aquatic Science
  • Water Science and Technology

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