Debris-Blocking Sensitivity of Piano Key Weirs under Reservoir-Type Approach Flow
The collection of floating woody debris at flow control structures, such as spillways and weirs, can potentially result in reduced discharge efficiency (higher upstream head for a given weir discharge). Compared to less hydraulically-efficient control structures, piano key weirs have higher discharge efficiency (lower upstream heads for a given discharge), which may increase the likelihood of woody debris collection. A systematic laboratory study was conducted to evaluate the interaction between various piano key weir geometries and woody debris types and sizes. The results of individual (noncumulative) debris tests indicated that floating debris blockage probability is highly influenced by trunk diameter and upstream head. The effects of debris accumulation on the upstream head varied with the value of the debrisfree reference upstream head condition. At lower upstream reference head values, the cumulative debris tests indicated a relative increase of the debris-associated upstream head of approximately 70%; higher upstream reference head values produced upstream head increases limited to approximately 20%.