Coursan Channel (France)

A channel to protect the town of Coursan from the floods of the Aude

Client: Syndicat Mixte du Delta de l'Aude (SMDA) / Scale model: 1:40 without distortion


The Aude delta development authority (SMDA) commissioned ARTELIA with the scale model study of the regulation structure on the Coursan channel. Completely opening the channel will protect the village of Coursan from flooding but will lower water levels upstream. This would have a detrimental effect on operation of the flood spillways located upstream and must be compensated for by building a regulation structure. The physical model is the appropriate tool to specify the design of such a work.

Description of the physical scale model

The model represents a line of 420 m from the Aude upstream of the village of Coursan, and includes the converging channel inlet structure and the regulation structure.

Aerial view of Coursan village and channel
Aerial view of Coursan village and channel











Aims of the physical scale model

The objectives of the model are

  • Analyse channel functioning in present and future conditions
  • Size the channel regulation structure so as to maintain the upstream water level for various design flows

6 tests has been performed:

  • Reference state (current state)
  • Future state 1 – channel completely opened

General view of model
General view of model

  • Future state 2 – channel completely opened and regulation structure built
  • Future state 3 – addition of mitigating measures to the regulation structure
  • Future states 4 and 5 – test of a second regulation structure without and with mitigating measures