Two explicit schemes of the finite difference method are presented and analyzed in the paper. The applicability of the Lax-Wendroff and McCormack schemes for modeling unsteady rapidly and gradually varied open channel flow is investigated. For simulation of the transcritical flow the original and improved McCormack scheme is used. The schemes are used for numerical solution of one dimensional Saint-Venant equations describing free surface water flow. Two numerical simulations of flow with different hydraulic characteristics were performed - the first one for the extreme flow of the dam-break type and the second one for the simplified flood wave propagation problem. The computational results are compared to each other and to arbitrary solutions.
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