La.R.A. CentreLaboratory of Environmental Hydraulics (LIA)

Home Research La.R.A. Centre Laboratory of Environmental Hydraulics (LIA)

The laboratory

One of the main objectives of the Laboratory of Environmental Hydraulics (LIA) is to provide a valid tool for day-to-day teaching, research and consultancy activities for third parties, public and private bodies, in the field of water engineering:

Environmental Hydraulics, Coastal Hydraulics, Hydraulic Constructions and Hydrology.

The laboratory is equipped with sophisticated measuring instruments that guarantee experimental and environmental monitoring activities.

The laboratory divides its activities into three main areas:

  • Computational fluid dynamics.
  • Full head applications.
  • Laboratory experiments.



The Lines and Research Topics of the Hydraulics Laboratory

  1. hydrodynamic modelling of free surface currents in natural and/or artificial water bodies;
  2. hydrodynamic modelling of wind-induced turbulent motion fields;
  3. hydrodynamic modelling of turbulent motion fields in complex domains;
  4. study of the effect of wall roughness on turbulent motion fields;
  5. leakage detection in distribution networks; analysis of various motion processes in water distribution networks;
  6. Energy efficiency of water distribution networks;
  7. Lagrangian sediment transport of turbulent flows in complex domains

The research activities mentioned are developed through five main areas of application.

The LIA laboratory is equipped with a numerical section that deals with fluid physics through computational fluid dynamics.

Numerical fluid dynamics deals with the development of methods and algorithms to simulate the dynamic behaviour of fluids in complex physical problems.

Particular attention is paid to the study of dispersed two-phase flows, which has numerous applications in industry, the environment and science.

Lagrangian dispersion analysis allows for a correct distribution of the actual path conducted by the dispersed phase(particle tracking) within the air or water matrix, thus representing a decision support tool for environmental risk mitigation.

Environmental hydrodynamics studies the movement of liquids concerning acting forces.

In the field of computational hydrodynamics, the LIA has acquired over the years specific skills in the numerical modelling of natural riverbeds with complex sections, defining specific algorithms, validated experimentally and through field measurements, able to return the flow rate from the water level, the variations of the water level in a natural riverbed as the morphology of the same changes and able to reproduce the three-dimensional turbulent motions that are certainly the subject of greatest interest in applied river engineering.

The laboratory experiments are carried out employing a pressurised water network within the premises of the hydraulics laboratory.

The network will consist of three meshes and eight possible supply nodes.

In particular, for the hydraulic scheme of the network, please refer to the graphic drawing attached to this report.

This scheme foresees the presence at the head of a loading tank with a volume of 6m3 obtained by hydraulically connecting 3 polyethene tanks for potable water, each with a volume of 2m3. An autoclave system will be connected to this tank, consisting of an electric autoclave pump with a variable operation (head 10m-60m and flow rate 20-60 l/h) and a 60 litre galvanised hydrosphere.

The network pipes will be made of Polyethylene PE 100 PN 16 DN 63 mm.

In particular, circular windings have been provided to obtain meshes with sides about 50 m long on each side, which will have to be suitably anchored to the laboratory floor employing u-shaped steel support brackets.

The laboratory experiments employ a channel with a variable slope and a length of approximately 18 metres. Water at different flow rates from an upstream tank flows to another tank downstream; once downstream, the water is sent upstream employing a pump.

The channel is used for teaching purposes (tutorials, internships, theses), research and contract work.

The Lia laboratory is also equipped with a hexacopter for environmental monitoring, which carries out academic and research activities in the field of thermographic surveys of landfills, thermographic surveys of buildings and their roofs to determine their energy efficiency, photogrammetric surveys for detailed mapping, planoaltimetric surveys for the construction of digital models, monitoring of air pollutants, and the survey and monitoring of coastal marine areas.


  • Aqualeak
  • Aquascan
  • Pluviometer
  • Vectrino
  • Ecomapper
  • Laser Flow
  • Velocity Area


  1. Bruno P., Di Bella G., De Marchis M. Effect of the tank geometry on disinfection efficiency. AIP Conference Proceedings 2021 2343 110010;
  2. Saccone D., Messineo S., De Marchis M. Numerical simulation for water loss estimation in water supply pipes: Discharge estimation and deformation analysis. AIP Conference Proceedings 2021 2343 110009;
  3. Bruno P., Di Bella G., De Marchis M. Effect of the contact tank geometry on disinfection efficiency. 2021 vol 41. Journal of Water Process Engineering
  4. Milici, B., De Marchis, M., Napoli, E., Large eddy simulation of inertial particles dispersion in a turbulent gas-particle channel flow bounded by rough walls Acta Mechanica, 2020, 231(9), pp. 3925-3946;
  5. Bruno P., Campo R., Giustra M.G., De Marchis M., Di Bella G.    Bench scale continuous coagulation-flocculation of saline industrial wastewater contaminated by hydro-carbons 2020 Journal of Water Process Engineering;
  6. Bruno P., Acampa G., Giustra M.G., De Marchis M., Parisi C.M., Di Bella G. Optimization of management choices of clariflocculation process by means of qualitative multi-criteria analysis    2020    Water science and technology: a journal of the International Association on Water Pollution Research;
  7. De Marchis M., Berardi L. Editorial: Water and environmental challenges in a changing world: The perspective of the 13th International Conference on Hydroinformatics HIC 2018 2020 Journal of Hydroinformatics;
  8. Bruno P., Di Bella G., De Marchis M. Large Eddy Simulation of Contact Tanks for Disinfection in Drinking Water Treatment 2020    ERCOFTAC Series;
  9. De Marchis M., Saccone D., Milici B., Napoli E. Large Eddy Simulations of Rough Turbulent Channel Flows Bounded by Irregular Roughness: Advances Toward a Universal Roughness Correlation    2020 Flow, Turbulence and Combustion;
  10. Saccone D., Napoli E., Milici B., De Marchis M. Large Eddy Simulations of Rough Turbulent Channel Flows Bounded by Irregular Roughness: The Role of Geometrical Parameters 2020 ERCOFTAC Series;
  11. De Marchis M., Milici B., Napoli E. Large eddy simulations on the effect of the irregular roughness shape on turbulent channel flows    2019 International Journal of Heat and Fluid Flow;
  12. De Marchis M., Milici B.    Leakage Estimation in Water Distri-bution Network: Effect of the Shape and Size Cracks    2019 Water Resources Management;
  13. De Marchis M., Milici B., Napoli E.    Estimation of the roughness function in turbulent flows using the slope of the roughness 2019 ERCOFTAC Series;
  14. Saccone D., De Marchis M.Optimization of the design of labyrinth emitter for agriculture irrigation using computational fluid dynamic analysis 2018    AIP Conference Proceedings;
  15. Collotta M., De Marchis M., Messi-neo A., Pau G., Di Persio L. Preface of the symposium “advanced Engineering Systems and Computer Applications: Theory and Practice”    2018 AIP Conference Proceedings;
  16. Monteleone A., De Marchis M., Milici B., Napoli E. A multi-domain approach for smoothed particle hydrodynamics simulations of highly complex flows    2018 Computer Methods in Applied Mechanics and Engineering;
  17. De Marchis M., Freni G., Milici B.    Experimental analysis of pressure-discharge relationship in a private water supply tank 2018    Journal of Hydroinformatics;
  18. Penna N., De Marchis M., Canelas O.B., Napoli E., Cardoso A.H., Gaudio R. Effect of the junction angle on tur-bulent flow at a hydraulic confluence 2018 Water (Switzerland);
  19. Collotta M., Pau G., Di Persio L., De Marchis M., Milici B. Preface of the Symposium “advanced Engineering Systems and Computer Applications: Theory and Practice” 2017 AIP Conference Proceedings;
  20. Campo R., Giustra M.G., De Mar-chis M., Freni G., di Bella G.    Characterization and treatment proposals of shipboard slop wastewater contaminated by hydrocarbons 2017 Water (Switzerland);
  21. M. De Marchis, Milici, B., Napoli, E. 2017, Solid sediment transport in turbulent channel flow over irregular rough boundaries. International Journal of Heat and Fluid Flow, 65, 114-126;
  22. M. De Marchis, 2016 Large eddy simulation of roughened channel flow: Estimation of energy losses using the slope of the roughness. Computers and Fluids, 140, pp. 148-157. DOI: 10.1016/j.compfluid.2016.09.021;
  23. M. De Marchis, B. Milici 2016. Turbulence modulation by micro-particles in smooth and rough channels. Physics Of Fluids, vol. 28(11), ISSN: 1070-6631, doi: 10.1063/1.496664;
  24. E. Napoli, M. De Marchis, C. Gianguzzi, B. Milici, A. Monteleone, 2016. A coupled Finite Volume–Smoothed Particle Hydrodynamics method for incompressible flows. Computer Methods in Applied Mechanics and Engineering 310, 674-693;
  25. M. De Marchis, B. Milici, G., Sardina, E., Napoli. 2016, Interaction between turbulent structures and particles in roughened channel. International Journal of Multiphase Flow, 78, 117-131;
  26. M. De Marchis, CM Fontanazza, G Freni, V Notaro, V Puleo, 2016. Experimental Evidence of Leaks in Elastic Pipes. Water Resources Management 30 (6), 2005-2019;
  27. B. Milici, M. De Marchis, 2016. Statistics of inertial particle deviation from fluid particle trajectories in horizontal rough wall turbulent channel flow. International Journal of Heat and Fluid Flow 60, 1-11;
  28. M. De Marchis, B. Milici, R. Volpe, A. Messineo 2016. Energy Saving in Water Distribution Network through Pump as Turbine Generators: Economic and Environmental Analysis. ENERGIES, vol. 9(11), ISSN: 1996-1073, doi: 10.3390/en9110877;
  29. M. De Marchis, G. Freni, B. Milici, , 2016. Experimental evidence of the discharge law in private tanks connected to water distribution networks. Procedia Engineering, 154, pp. 115-122 DOI: 10.1016/j.proeng.2016.07.428;
  30. Francesco Calomino, Alì Tafarojnoruz, Mauro De Marchis, Roberto Gaudio, Enrico Napoli, 2015 Experimental and Numerical Study on the Flow Field and Friction Factor in a Pressurized Corrugated Pipe. Journal of Hydraulic Engineering 141 (11), 04015027;
  31. Mauro De Marchis, Barbara Milici, Gabriele Freni, 2015 Pressure-Discharge Law of Local Tanks Connected to a Water Distribution Network: Experimental and Mathematical Results, Water 7 (9), 4701-4723;
  32. Mauro De Marchis, Barbara Milici, Enrico Napoli, 2015 Numerical observations of turbulence structure modification in channel flow over 2D and 3D rough walls. International Journal of Heat and Fluid Flow, 56, 108-123;
  33. Mauro De Marchis and Gabriele Freni, 2015 Pump as turbine implementation in a dynamic numerical model: cost analysis for energy recovery in water distribution network, Journal of Hydroinformatics, 17(3), 347-360;
  34. Napoli, E., De Marchis, M., Vitanza, E. 2015 PANORMUS-SPH. A new Smoothed Particle Hydrodynamics solver for incompressible flows. Computers and Fluids, 106, pp. 185-195. DOI: 10.1016/j.compfluid.2014.09.045;
  35. Notaro, V., De Marchis, M., Fontanazza, C.M., La Loggia, G., Puleo, V., Freni, G., 2014. The effect of damage functions on urban flood damage appraisal. Procedia Engineering, 70, pp. 1251-1260 DOI: 10.1016/j.proeng.2014.02.138;
  36. De Marchis, M., Freni, G., Napoli, E. 2014. Three-dimensional numerical simulations on wind- and tide-induced currents: The case of Augusta Harbour (Italy) Computers and Geosciences, 72, pp. 65-75. DOI: 10.1016/j.cageo.2014.07.003;
  37. De Marchis, M., Fontanazza, C.M., Freni, G., Milici, B., Puleo, V. Experimental investigation for local tank inflow model (2014) Procedia Engineering, 89 (C), pp. 656-663. DOI: 10.1016/j.proeng.2014.11.491;
  38. Milici, B., De Marchis, M., Sardina, G., Napoli, E. Effects of roughness on particle dynamics in turbulent channel flows: A DNS analysis (2014) Journal of Fluid Mechanics, 739, pp. 465-478. DOI: 10.1017/jfm.2013.633;
  39. Puleo, V., Fontanazza, C.M., Notaro, V., De Marchis, M., La Loggia, G., Freni, G. Definition of water meter substitution plans based on a composite indicator (2014) Procedia Engineering, 70, pp. 1369-1377. DOI: 10.1016/j.proeng.2014.02.151;
  40. Freni, G., Marchis, M.D., Napoli, E. Implementation of pressure reduction valves in a dynamic water distribution numerical model to control the inequality in water supply (2014) Journal of Hydroinformatics, 16 (1), pp. 207-217. DOI: 10.2166/hydro.2013.032;
  41. De Marchis, M., Fontanazz, C.M., Freni, G., Messineo, A., Milici, B., Napoli, E., Notaro, V., Puleo, V., Scopa, A. Energy recovery in water distribution networks. Implementation of pumps as turbine in a dynamic numerical model (2014) Procedia Engineering, 70, pp. 439-448. DOI: 10.1016/j.proeng.2014.02.049;
  42. Puleo, V., Fontanazza, C.M., Notaro, V., De Marchis, M., Freni, G., La Loggia, G. Pumps as turbines (PATs) in water distribution networks affected by intermittent service (2014) Journal of Hydroinformatics, 16 (2), pp. 259-271. DOI: 10.2166/hydro.2013.200;
  43. De Marchis, M., Fontanazza, C.M., Freni, G., La Loggia, G., Notaro, V., Puleo, V. A mathematical model to evaluate apparent losses due to meter under-registration in intermittent water distribution networks (2013) Water Science and Technology: Water Supply, 13 (4), pp. 914-923. DOI: 10.2166/ws.2013.076;
  44. De Marchis, M., Freni, G., Napoli, E. Modelling of E. coli distribution in coastal areas subjected to combined sewer overflows (2013) Water Science and Technology, 68 (5), pp. 1123-1136. DOI: 10.2166/wst.2013.353;
  45. De Marchis, M., Napoli, E. Effects of irregular two-dimensional and three-dimensional surface roughness in turbulent channel flows (2012) International Journal of Heat and Fluid Flow, 36, pp. 7-17. DOI: 10.1016/j.ijheatfluidflow.2012.04.003;
  46. Alaimo, A., De Marchis, M., Freni, G., Messineo, A., Ticali, D. Concept of a new pluviometer for metering rainfall erosivity (2012) Advanced Materials Research, 452-453, pp. 316-320. DOI: 10.4028/;
  47. De Marchis, M., Ciraolo, G., Nasello, C., Napoli, E. Wind- and tide-induced currents in the Stagnone lagoon (Sicily) (2012) Environmental Fluid Mechanics, 12 (1), pp. 81-100. DOI: 10.1007/s10652-011-9225-0;
  48. De Marchis, M., Fontanazza, C.M., Freni, G., La Loggia, G., Napoli, E., Notaro, V. Analysis of the impact of intermittent distribution by modelling the network-filling process (2011) Journal of Hydroinformatics, 13 (3), pp. 358-373. DOI: 10.2166/hydro.2010.026;
  49. De Marchis, M., Fontanazza, C.M., Freni, G., La Loggia, G., Napoli, E., Notaro, V. A model of the filling process of an intermittent distribution network (2010) Urban Water Journal, 7 (6);
  50. De Marchis, M., Napoli, E., Armenio, V. Turbulence structures over irregular rough surfaces (2010) Journal of Turbulence, 11, pp. 1-32. DOI: 10.1080/14685241003657270;



The laboratory offers a range of services to entities outside the University, including:

  • Advising administrations on environmental monitoring
  • Advice to industries, administrations and private bodies on numerical modelling of water bodies of interest to environmental engineering
  • Consultancy in the field of water network management (fire prevention, irrigation, aqueduct networks)


You can find us at Kore Platform in Polo scientifico e tecnologico di Santa Panasia, Enna Bassa.
Free Kore University of Enna Cittadella Universitaria – 94100 Enna


Prof. Ing. Mauro De Marchis
Associate Professor of ICAR/01 – Hydraulics “Faculty of Engineering and Architecture”
Associate professor in Hydraulic Engineering Faculty “Engineering and Architecture.”

Office Phone +39 0935536438