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Unidirectional Flow and

Sediment Transport

Discharge
volume

of water flowing through a crosssection of channel per unit time


Q = w d U
w is width of flow
d is mean flow depth
U is mean flow velocity
X-S area of flow, a, is width x depth
Q=aU

Some flow terminology


flow

characteristics (depth, width, velocity)


do not change with time steady flow
flow characteristics (depth, width, velocity)
do not change from place to place: uniform
flow
streamline -- imaginary line drawn parallel
to local mean flow direction

Consider a steady, non-uniform flow


Plan View
a1
streamlines

a2

Streamlines -- visualization
of flow velocity -- show flow
direction and speed (spacing of
streamlines is closer where
flow is faster)

Conservation of mass
Consider

a steady, non-uniform flow

because

no fluid is lost or gained between xsections 1 and 2, discharge is constant: a1U1


= a2U2 = Q
This equation is the continuity equation
Tells us that where a is small, U is large, and
vice-versa.

Conservation of energy
Consider

the energy of a fluid mass that


moves between 2 streamlines (see next
slide)
Fluid is ideal -- incompressible, frictionless
(no viscosity)
Steady, non-uniform flow

Bernoulli Equation
In

a closed system the total energy does not


change
p1 + gy1 +

Real

u12
2

= p2 + gy2 +

u2 2
2

water is not ideal; there is friction so


total head decreases downstream
In some cases, friction is small so this
equation works well.

Fluid viscosity

Fluid viscosity
Viscosity

= internal resistance to flow


Water viscosity results in friction between
water and bed/banks
Friction from bed/banks is transmitted
through fluid
Result: velocity increases with distance
from bed/banks

u
=
y

Velocity gradient, the rate of change of velocity with distance from


aboundary, can be written u/y
Shear stress within the fluid, , is proportional to the velocity
gradient. Viscosity, , is the proportionality constant

Definition diagram for spatially-averaged bed


shear stress in steady, uniform flow
flow

Fd
bed

Fd
0 =
A

W
Consider column of water with unit area (A=1)

Bed shear stress (for steady,


uniform flow)
Fd=Vgsin; V is volume; V=A x d; is water
density; g is acc. due to gravity
0 = gdsin
0 is bed shear stress
For small , sin=S, the water surface slope
0 = gdS DuBoys Equation

Two types of flow:


Laminar & Turbulent

Allen, Earth Surface Processes, Blackwell Science

Laminar flow
Streamlines

nearly parallel
Think of flow as composed of layers of fluid
sliding over each other
There is friction between layers (bcs. fluid
has viscosity)
Momentum transferred over very small
distances

Turbulent Flow
Flow

is NOT smooth layers.


Turbulent eddies can transfer momentum
over much of flow depth.
High speed fluid can sweep down to bed
and increase amount of sediment moved.
River flow is almost always turbulent

What determines whether flow


laminar or turbulent?
Laminar

flow occurs at low flow velocities


and depths.
Turbulent flow occurs at higher velocities
and depths.
Reynolds number (Re) is used to determine
whether flow is laminar or turbulent.

Reynolds Number

Ud
Re =

is fluid density
U is mean flow velocity
d is mean flow depth
is fluid viscosity

Newtons Law of Viscosity for laminar


flows
Viscosity

dominates in a laminar flow


= u/y
is shear stress in fluid
is fluid viscosity; dynamic viscosity

Velocity Profile - Graph of velocity increase


with distance from bed

Allen, Principles of Physical Sedimentology, George Allen & Unwin

Laminar Velocity Profile


2

o
y
u( y) = y
2d

u(y) is velocity, u, at height y above bed


o is shear stress
d is flow depth
is fluid viscosity
mean velocity is at height above bed = 0.4d

Turbulent flow
Turbulence

results in transfer of momentum


over entire flow depth in turbulent eddys
Generates higher shear stresses
Therefore, for turbulent flows,
= (+) du/dy

Velocity Profile - Graph of velocity increase


with distance from bed

Allen, Principles of Physical Sedimentology, George Allen & Unwin

Turbulent Velocity Profile


Flow

Wall

near bed obeys theLaw of the

u( y) =
ln

yo
u is the velocity at height y above the bed
is von Karmans constant
u* is the shear velocity
yo is the height above bed where velocity = 0
u*

Law of the Wall


Applies

only to velocities in lowest 20% of


flow depth
Can be used to calculate o, bed shear
stress, because

0
u* =

Critical vs. Supercritical Flow


As

flow velocity increases, flow can exhibit


standing waves --> critical flow.
When flow shallow and fast, can see chutes
and pools (rapids) --> supercritical flow

Froude Number, Fr
Dimensionless

number used to
determine whether flow is subcritical or
supercritical.

U
Fr =
gdis supercritical
If Fr>1, flow
If Fr<1, flow is subcritical
Fr=1 for critical flow