Application of Regime Theory in Practice: A Case Study

by James A. Turpin, (A.M.ASCE),
Martin J. Teal, (A.M.ASCE),

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: North American Water and Environment Congress & Destructive Water


Alluvial channels are known to adjust their slope, width, depth and velocity to achieve stable conditions given a supply of water and sediment. Scientific investigations of stable channels were begun over a century ago by engineers seeking to design unlined canals that would neither deposit nor scour. The concept of a stable channel in equilibrium conditions was also referred to as a regime channel. Concepts of channel equilibrium (or regime) were used to predict channel response to changing hydrologic conditions for a project near Phoenix, Arizona. In this project, washes receiving increased flows from upstream urbanization are crossed by natural gas and petroleum product pipelines at sixteen locations. Guidance from various sources, including the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and a recent article published in the ASCE Journal of Hydraulic Engineering was applied to the problem at hand. Results from the different sources were compared and engineering judgement was applied to predict the regime conditions of the channels under analysis. Based on these results, appropriate pipeline burial depths were determined to prevent failure of the pipelines from the effects of scouring.

Subject Headings: Channel stabilization | Case studies | Scour | Pipelines | Channels (waterway) | Alluvial channels | Water supply | Arizona | United States | Phoenix

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