Standard Article

Numerical Modeling of Currents

Surface Water Hydrology

  1. Rudi Rajar

Published Online: 15 JUL 2005

DOI: 10.1002/047147844X.sw648

Water Encyclopedia

Water Encyclopedia

How to Cite

Rajar, R. 2005. Numerical Modeling of Currents. Water Encyclopedia. 3:320–325.

Author Information

  1. University of Ljubljana, Ljubljana, Slovenia

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 15 JUL 2005


Currents—water movement—appear in all surface waters: rivers, lakes, coastal seas, and oceans. This flow of water is almost always turbulent, which means with many irregular eddies of different size. Currents are sometimes near to steady movement (not changing with time), but mostly the movement is unsteady, significantly changing with time.

In rivers the currents are more aligned nearly in one dimension (1D), although in larger rivers they can be quite complex and three-dimensional (3D). In shallower rivers or coastal seas the modeling of currents is sometimes two-dimensional (2D), but in reality all currents are three-dimensional (3D); that is, the water velocities are in all three directions, although often they are an order of magnitude greater in the two horizontal directions than in the vertical direction.


  • global currents;
  • Numerical modeling;
  • current circulation;
  • physical models;
  • Forcing Factors;
  • tide;
  • inflow of rivers;
  • density gradients;
  • Japan Sea;
  • mercury cycling;
  • Mediterranean Sea