Effect of an abrupt slope change on air entrainment and flow depths at stepped spillways

Several stepped spillways have been built in recent decades, mostly integrated in the downstream faces of roller compacted concrete dams. Among them, only a few have changing bottom slopes. Comprehensive information on the effect of a slope change on the flow features is lacking. This paper reports a systematic study of air entrainment and flow bulking in skimming flow along stepped spillways in the vicinity of abrupt slope changes. Physical modelling was conducted using a large facility with abrupt pseudo-bottom slope changes from 50° to 30° and from 50° to 18.6°. Air–water flow measurements were conducted at several flow cross-sections upstream and downstream of the slope change. The results indicate a significant influence of the slope change on the air pattern and flow bulking. Four main flow sub-regions were identified to describe the typical air–water flow patterns. The normalized length of the influence reach induced by the slope change was found to depend mainly on the critical flow depth, regardless of the slope change and step height.

Published in:
Journal of Hydraulic Research, 55, 3, 362-375

 Record created 2017-05-18, last modified 2018-03-17

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