Supercritical Flows Versus Subcritical Flows in Natural Channels

by Douglas J. Trieste, Bureau of Reclamation, Denver, United States,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Hydraulic Engineering


Many analysts model large discharges and/or high-gradient reaches as supercritical flow. While this assumption may be valid for man-made channels of smooth, non erosive materials, and some smooth, uniform, bedrock natural channels, it is questionable for most natural channels typically modeled. More research is needed in this area to assess flow regime in natural channels, and to properly evaluate flow resistance - especially for large flows, and/or high-gradient channels.

Subject Headings: Channel flow | Supercritical flow | Fluid flow | Subcritical flow | Channels (waterway) | Flow resistance | Water discharge | Mathematical models

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