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Publication No. FHWA-NHI-06-086July 2006
U.S. Department of Transportation
Federal HighwayAdministration
Hydraulic Engineering Circular No. 14, Third Edition
Hydraulic Design of EnergyDissipators for Culverts andChannels
National Highway Institute
Technical Report Documentation Page
1. Report No.
FHWA-NHI-06-086HEC 14
2. Government Accession No. 3. Recipient's Catalog No.5. Report Date
July 2006
4. Title and Subtitle
Hydraulic Design of Energy Dissipators for Culverts andChannelsHydraulic Engineering Circular Number 14, Third Edition
6. Performing Organization Code7. Author(s)
Philip L. Thompson and Roger T. Kilgore
8. Performing Organization Report No.10. Work Unit No. (TRAIS)9. Performing Organization Name and Address
Kilgore Consulting and Management2963 Ash StreetDenver, CO 80207
11. Contract or Grant No.
13. Type of Report and Period Covered
Final Report (3
July 2004 – July 2006
12. Sponsoring Agency Name and Address
Federal Highway AdministrationNational Highway Institute Office of Bridge Technology4600 North Fairfax Drive 400 Seventh Street, SWSuite 800 Room 3203Arlington, Virginia 22203 Washington D.C. 20590
14. Sponsoring Agency Code15. Supplementary Notes
Project Manager: Cynthia Nurmi – FHWA Resource CenterTechnical Assistance: Jorge Pagan, Bart Bergendahl, Sterling Jones (FHWA); Rollin Hotchkiss(consultant)
16. Abstract
The purpose of this circular is to provide design information for analyzing and mitigating energydissipation problems at culvert outlets and in open channels. The first three chapters provide generalinformation on the overall design process (Chapter 1), erosion hazards (Chapter 2), and culvert outletvelocity and velocity modification (Chapter 3). These provide a background and framework foranticipating dissipation problems. In addition to describing the overall design process, Chapter 1provides design examples to compare selected energy dissipators. The next three chapters provideassessment tools for considering flow transitions (Chapter 4), scour (Chapter 5), and hydraulic jumps(Chapter 6).For situations where the tools in the first six chapters are insufficient to fully mitigate a dissipationproblem, the remaining chapters address the design of six types of constructed energy dissipators.Although any classification system for dissipators is limited, this circular uses the following breakdown:internal (integrated) dissipators (Chapter 7), stilling basins (Chapter 8), streambed level dissipators(Chapter 9), riprap basins and aprons (Chapter 10), drop structures (Chapter 11), and stilling wells(Chapter 12).Much of the information presented has been taken from the literature and adapted, where necessary,to fit highway needs. Research results from the Turner Fairbank Highway Research Center and otherfacilities have also been incorporated. A survey of state practices and experience was also conductedto identify needs for this circular.
17. Key Word
energy dissipator, culvert, channel, erosion, outletvelocity, hydraulic jump, internal dissipator, stillingbasin, impact basin, riprap basin, riprap apron,drop structure, stilling well
18. Distribution Statement
This document is available to the public from theNational Technical Information Service,Springfield, Virginia, 22151
19. Security Classif. (of this report)
20. Security Classif. (of this page)
21. No. of Pages
22. Price
Form DOT F 1700.7
Reproduction of completed page authorized
First EditionThe first edition of this Circular was prepared in 1975 as an integral part of DemonstrationProject No. 31, "Hydraulic Design of Energy Dissipators for Culverts and Channels," sponsoredby Region 15. Mr. Philip L. Thompson of Region 15 and Mr. Murray L. Corry of the HydraulicsBranch wrote sections, coordinated, and edited the Circular. Dr. F. J. Watts of the University ofIdaho (on a year assignment with Hydraulics Branch), Mr. Dennis L. Richards of the HydraulicsBranch, Mr. J. Sterling Jones of the Office of Research, and Mr. Joseph N. Bradley, Consultantto the Hydraulics Branch, contributed substantially by writing sections of the Circular. Mr. FrankL. Johnson, Chief, Hydraulics Branch, and Mr. Gene Fiala, Region 10 Hydraulics Engineer,supported the authors by reviewing and discussing the drafts of the Circular. Mr. John Morris,Region 4 Hydraulics Engineer, collected research results and assembled a preliminary manualthat was used as an outline for the first draft. Mrs. Linda L. Gregory and Mrs. Silvia M.Rodriguez of the Region 15 Word Processing center and Mrs. Willy Rudolph of the HydraulicsBranch aided in manual preparation. The authors wish to express their gratitude to the manyindividuals and organizations whose research and designs are incorporated into this Circular.Second EditionMr. Philip Thompson and Mr. Dennis Richards updated the first edition in 1983 so that HEC 14could be reprinted and distributed as a part of Demonstration Project 73. The 1983 edition didnot add any new dissipators, but did correct all the identified errors in the first edition. Asubstantial revision for Chapter 5, Estimating Erosion at Culvert Outlets, was accomplishedusing material that was published by Dr. Steven Abt, Dr. James Ruff, and Dr. A Shaikh in 1980.The second edition was prepared in U.S. customary units.Third EditionMr. Philip Thompson and Mr. Roger Kilgore prepared this third edition of the Circular with theassistance of Dr. Rollin Hotchkiss. This edition retains all of the dissipators featured in thesecond edition, except the Forest Service (metal), USBR Type II stilling basin, and the Manifoldstilling basin. The following dissipators have been added: USBR Type IX baffled apron, riprapaprons, broken-back culverts, outlet weir, and outlet drop followed by a weir. This edition is inboth U.S. customary and System International (SI) units. A previous SI unit version of HEC 14was published in 2000 as a part of the FHWA Hydraulics Library on CDROM, FHWA-IF-00-022.

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