Journal article

Effects of Lateral and Vertical Constrictions on Flow in Rough Steep Channels with Bedload

Two-phase flows occurring at flow constrictions such as bridges or open sediment check dams are complex, especially for steep rivers with bedload transport. Dangerous bedload deposition and backwater effects may occur in steep mountain rivers at bridges. In contrast, sediment deposition is desirable at open check dams combined with sediment traps. For design purposes, the discharge and bedload capacity across these flow constrictions must be known. The energy losses, discharge capacity, and bedload transport capacity of vertical and lateral flow constrictions are experimentally studied in a rough, 2% inclined, trapezoidal channel. Both free surface and pressurized flow conditions, as caused by lateral and vertical flow constrictions, respectively, were analyzed because both may occur at bridges and check dams. The experiments demonstrate that the vertical flow constrictions cause a faster increase in the backwater depth, with increasing discharge, than lateral constrictions. The resulting upstream flow conditions can be described by the upstream Froude number, defined as a function of the constriction dimensions (height and width). The bedload transport capacity through the flow constriction decreases with the upstream Froude number. The practical relevance of the findings is illustrated by a design example of flow constrictions at open sediment check dams.

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