Discussion of "Skimming, Nonaerated Flow on Stepped Spillways over Roller Compacted Concrete Dams" by Ines Meireles, Floriana Renna, Jorge Matos, and Fabian Bombardelli
The nonaerated region may occupy a large portion of the skimming flow in steep, stepped spillways, particularly for relatively high unit flow rates. In spite of the numerous contributions on the hydraulic properties at both the inception point of air entrainment and the aerated region, much less is known regarding the flow in the nonaerated region. In this paper, new empirical evidence, based on an extensive data set obtained during several years in a large-scale facility, sheds light on the features of the nonaerated-flow region. Diverse ways to locate and estimate the main hydraulic properties at the inception point are first discussed and compared. Then, expressions capable of characterizing the main flow variables along the nonaerated region are presented, namely, the boundary-layer development, the velocity distribution, the equivalent clear-water depth, the characteristic depth taking into account the free-surface unsteadiness due to turbulence, and the energy dissipation. The energy dissipation is observed to be larger than that for smooth spillways, although much smaller than values typically reported for aerated flows at the toe of stepped spillways.