Journal article

Aeration Performances of a Gabion Stepped Weir with and without Capping

The stepped spillway design has been used for more than 3,300 years. A simple structure is the gabion stepped weir. A laboratory study was performed herein in a large size facility. Three gabion stepped weirs were tested with and without capping, as well as a flat impervious stepped configuration. For each configuration, detailed air–water flow measurements were conducted systematically for a range of discharges. The observations highlighted the seepage flow through the gabions and the interactions between seepage and overflow. The air–water flow properties showed that the air concentration, bubble count rate and specific interface data presented lower quantitative values in the gabion stepped weir, compared to those on the impervious stepped chute, while higher velocities weremeasured at the downstream end of the gabion stepped chute. The re-oxygenation rate was deduced from the integration of the mass transfer equation using air–water interfacial area and velocity measurements. The aeration performances of the gabion stepped weir were lesser than on the flat impervious stepped chute, but for the lowest discharge. For the two configurations with step capping, the resulting flow properties were close to those on the impervious stepped configuration.

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