Optimization of multiple reservoir networks for sedimentation control

J. W. Nicklow, L. W. Mays

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

37 Scopus citations


An optimal control methodology is developed to evaluate reservoir management policies that minimize sediment scour and deposition in multiple-reservoir river networks. Consideration is given to adverse effects occurring in both reservoirs and rivers of a hydraulic network. The sedimentation problem is formulated as a discrete-time optimal control problem in which a successive approximation linear quadratic regulator optimization scheme is coupled with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers HEC-6 sediment transport simulation model. Operational constraints imposed on reservoir storage levels and releases are accommodated using either a bracket or hyperbolic penalty function method. The resulting model also allows the user to evaluate policies that alternatively maximize sedimentation or consider adverse effects only at specified locations. Comparisons of the computational efficiencies between the successive approximation linear quadratic regulator and differential dynamic programming methodology and between different penalty functions are performed. Capabilities of the model are demonstrated through applications to a hypothetical three-reservoir network and the Yazoo Basin river-reservoir network in Mississippi.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)232-242
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Hydraulic Engineering
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1 2000

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Water Science and Technology
  • Mechanical Engineering


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