Diffusion and Dispersion in Open Channel Flow

by Arthur C. Miller, (A.M.ASCE), Asst. Prof., Civ. Engrg.; Pennsylvania State Univ., University Park, PA,
Everett V. Richardson, (M.ASCE), Prof. of Civ. Engrg.; Colorado State Univ., Fort Collins, CO,

Serial Information: Journal of the Hydraulics Division, 1974, Vol. 100, Issue 1, Pg. 159-171

Document Type: Journal Paper


The lateral turbulent diffusion and longitudinal dispersion coefficients were related to the parameters that make up the structure of the flow. The resistance to flow for these runs varied from 10.6 to 4.4. This relation for the lateral turbulent diffusion coefficient was not affected by the secondary circulation that was present in all of the flows and is the same as that given by other researchers for a large range of flow conditions. The dispersion coefficient varied with resistance to flow and the average velocity. Longitudinal diffusion, which depends on the turbulence of the flow, was an insignificant factor in the dispersion coefficient as compared to the distribution of the local mean velocity in the lateral and vertical directions.

Subject Headings: Open channel flow | Turbulent flow | Flow resistance | Diffusion | Turbulent diffusion | Load and resistance factor design | Gradually varied flow | Fluid velocity

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