Minimum Specific Energy in Compound Open Channel

by Merritt E. Blalock, (M.ASCE), Hydro.; United States Geological Survey, Atlanta Ga.; formerly, President's Fellow, Georgia Inst. of Tech., Atlanta, Ga. 30332,
Terry W. Sturm, (A.M.ASCE), Asst. Prof.; School of Civ. Engrg., Georgia Inst. of Tech., Atlanta, Ga. 30332,

Serial Information: Journal of the Hydraulics Division, 1981, Vol. 107, Issue 6, Pg. 699-717

Document Type: Journal Paper


A compound-channel Froude number is derived to reflect correctly the occurrence of minimum specific energy in open channels with overbank flow. The limitations of conventional Froude-number formulations are described and comparisons with the proposed compound-channel Froude number are presented. The results of a laboratory investigation into the occurrence of two points of minimum specific energy are presented, and this phenomenon can occur for certain compound-channel geometries as predicted by the compound-channel Froude number. The experimental investigation indicates that the upper point of minimum specific energy can properly be considered the limit of subcritical flow.

Subject Headings: Froude number | Open channels | Open channel flow | Subcritical flow | Comparative studies | Geometrics

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