American Society of Civil Engineers

Stepped Spillway with Hydraulic Jumps: Application of a Numerical Model to a Scale Model of a Conceptual Prototype

by Rita F. Carvalho, (corresponding author), (Dept. of Civ. Engrg.-FCT, Univ. of Coimbracar, Coimbra, 3030-290, Portugal E-mail: and Rui Martins, (Retired, Laboratório Nacional de Engenharia Civ., Lisboa, Portugal)

Journal of Hydraulic Engineering, Vol. 135, No. 7, July 2009, pp. 615-619, (doi:

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Document type: Technical Note
Abstract: Hydraulic jumps on the steps of a stepped spillway were investigated analytically, physically, and numerically. Using classic hydraulic formulae, a conceptual prototype was designed. A large scale model was adapted and an experimental study was conducted to examine similarity of hydraulic jumps on each step, minimizing hydraulic jump length and maximizing discharge per unit width. A numerical model based on the 2D Reynolds averaged equations, where the free-surface is represented using a refined volume-of-fluid algorithm, the internal obstacles are described by means of the fractional area-volume obstacle representation method, and the turbulence is represented by a specially developed RNG (Renormalization Group) k-ε closure model was used for evaluating velocities and pressures, and for characterizing hydrodynamic forces on the baffles and sills. Preliminary design criteria are proposed for stepped spillways with hydraulic jump formation of simple shapes and adequate relations of critical depth/step height and the application of computational fluid dynamics to such problems is studied.

ASCE Subject Headings:
Hydraulic jump
Numerical models