Low-Head Drop Structure Hazards: Modeling of an Abrupt Drop Boat Chute

by Richard E. McLaughlin, McLaughlin Water Engineers, Ltd., Denver, United States,
Roger R. Grenier, Jr., McLaughlin Water Engineers, Ltd., Denver, United States,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Hydraulic Engineering


Low-head drop structures are dangerous for navigational and recreational boating in rivers. In an effort to reduce drowning hazards at low-head river drop structures, a boat chute bypass, which creates a hydraulic jump at an abrupt drop, was modeled. A physical model was built, and depths, velocities, and wave forms were measured. Momentum equations, which include expansion in both the vertical and horizontal directions, are applied at the abrupt channel expansion and compared to modeling results. Because results from the model study differed with unit width theory, and because of variabilities in the complementary nature of the chute configuration and pool length; it was determined that physical model studies should be performed as part of boat chute design efforts.

Subject Headings: Physical models | Hydraulic structures | Head (fluid mechanics) | Drop structures | Structural reliability | Structural models | Small craft | Stream channels

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