A numerical investigation of the squat and resistance of ships advancing through a canal using CFD

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As a ship approaches shallow water, a number of changes arise owing to the hydrodynamic interaction between the bottom of the ship’s hull and the seafloor. The flow velocity between the bottom of the hull and the seafloor increases, which leads to an increase in sinkage, trim and resistance. As the ship travels forward, squat of the ship may occur, stemming from this increase in sinkage and trim. Knowledge of a ship’s squat is necessary when navigating vessels through shallow water regions, such as rivers, channels and harbours. Accurate prediction of a ship’s squat is therefore essential, to minimize the risk of grounding for ships. Similarly, predicting a ship’s resistance in shallow water is equally important, to be able to calculate its power requirements. The key objective of this study was to perform fully nonlinear unsteady RANS simulations to predict the squat and resistance of a model-scale Duisburg Test Case container ship advancing in a canal. The analyses were carried out in different ship drafts at various speeds, utilizing a commercial CFD software package. The squat results obtained by CFD were then compared with available experimental data.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)86-101
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Marine Science and Technology
Issue number1
Early online date28 Jul 2015
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2016


  • CFD
  • numerical ship hydrodynamics
  • shallow water
  • ship squat
  • unsteady RANS

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