Stepped spillways have higher energy dissipation than smoother hydraulic structures used to divert flood discharges. The inception point related to air entrainment is, however, located further upstream causing an undesired bulking of the flow depth. For large discharge rates and for straight stepped spillways, the skimming flow regime may be assumed two dimensional; this is an attractive feature for the application of non-intrusive flow visualization techniques because these methods measure the flow characteristics in the vicinity of the sidewalls which are likely to correlate with the flow at the centre of the flume. This paper tests the hypothesis that such techniques can be used to measure the flow inside the flume. The hypothesis is tested against measurements taken with an intrusive probe. Void fraction contour lines and velocity fields are obtained in 12 different stepped spillway configurations using the image processing procedure and the bubble image velocimetry, respectively. The void fraction and velocity results are overall consistent with the probe measurements. The velocity fields show a persistent underestimation of the probe measurements which can at least be partially explained by sidewall effects and possible probe’s overestimation.
Experiments in Fluids – Springer Journals
Published: May 6, 2014
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