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Some structures designed on Bligh‟s theory gave trouble.
Khosla investigated the causes by inserting some pipes on the d/s side of
the weir through impervious apron.
The pressures measured were not as calculated according to Bligh‟s theory.
Khosla proved that seeping water through permeable soil follow parabolic
streamlines and not along the underside profile of the impervious floor as given
by Bligh.
Flow of water takes place according to Laplace equation, i.e. the potential
flow theory.
Stream Lines
The streamlines represent the paths along which the
water flows through the subsoil.
Every particle entering the soil at a given point upstream
of the work, will trace out its own path and will represent a
streamline.
The first streamline follows the bottom contour of the
works and is the same as Bligh's path of Field creep.
The remaining streamlines follow smooth curves transiting
slowly from the outline of the foundation to a semiellipse,
as shown in above figure.
Equipotential Lines
(1) Treating the downstream bed as datum and assuming no water on the
downstream side, it can be easily stated that every streamline possesses a
head equal to h
1
while entering the soil; and when it emerges at the down
stream end into the atmosphere, its head is zero. Thus, the head h
1
is
entirely lost during the passage of water along the streamline.
Further, at every intermediate point in its path, there is certain residual head
(h) still to be dissipated in the remaining length to be traversed to the
downstream end. This fact is applicable to every streamline, and hence,
there will be points on different streamlines having the same value of
residual head h. If such points are joined together, the curve obtained is
called an equipotential line.
Every water particle on line AB is having a residual head h= h
1
and on CD
is having a residual head h = 0, and hence, AB and CD are equipotential
lines.
Since an equipotential line represents the joining of points of equal residual
head, hence if piezometers were installed on an equipotential line, the water
will rise in all of them up to the same level.
(2) The seepage water exerts a force at each point in the direction of flow and
tangential to the streamlines as shown in the below figure.
This force (F) has an upward component from the point where the streamline turns
upward.
For soil grains to remain stable, the upward component of this force should be
counterbalanced by the submerged weight of the soil grain.
This force has the maximum disturbing tendency at the exit end,
because the direction of this force at the exit point is vertically
upward, and hence full force acts as its upward component.
For the soil grain to remain stable, the submerged weight of soil
grain should be more than this upward disturbing force.
The disturbing force at any point is proportional to the gradient of
pressure of water at that point (i.e. dp/dt). This gradient of
pressure of water at the exit end, is called the exit gradient.
In order that the soil particles at exit remain stable, the upward
pressure at exit should be safe. In other words, the exit gradient
should be safe.
Critical Exit Gradient
If the upward disturbing force on the grain is just equal to the
submerged weight of the grain at the exit, the exit gradient is
called critical exit gradient.
To keep the structure safe against piping, the exit gradient should
be equal to 1/4 to 1/5 of the critical exit gradient, i.e. a factor of
safety equal to 4 or 5 is used.
The submerged weight (W
s
) of a unit volume of soil is given as :
where
w = unit weight of water
S
s
= sp. gravity of soil particles
n = porosity of the soil material
( ) ( ) 1 1 ÷ · ÷ · =
s s
S n w W
The upward disturbing force on unit volume (for unit area, dV = 1 x dl) of
the grain
For critical conditions to occur at the exit point,
F = W
s
(dh/dl is the critical exit gradient)
For most of the river sand S
s
≈ 2.65 and n ≈ 0.4
Therefore, Critical exit gradient = (10.4)(2.651) = 0.99 ≈ 1.0
( )
dl
dh
w
dl
wh d
dl
dp
F . = = =
( )( ) 1 1 . ÷ ÷ =
s
S n w
dl
dh
w
( )( ) 1 1 ÷ ÷ =
s
S n
dl
dh
Material Khosla’s Safe Exit Gradient
Shingle 1/4 to 1/5
Coarse sand 1/5 to 1/6
Fine sand 1/6 to 1/7
(3) Undermining of the floor starts from the downstream end of the d/s pucca floor,
and if not checked, it travels upstream towards the weir wall. The undermining
starts only when the exit gradient is unsafe for the subsoil on which the weir is
founded. It is, therefore, absolutely necessary to have a reasonably deep vertical
cutoff at the downstream end of the d/s pucca floor to prevent undermining. The
depth of this d/s vertical cut off is governed by two considerations i.e.
(i) maximum depth of scour; (ii) safe exit gradient.
While designing a weir, downstream cutoff from the maximum scoured depth
considerations is, first of all, provided, and checked for exit gradient. If a safe
value of exit gradient is not obtained, then the depth of cutoff is increased. The
depth of cutoff is also governed and limited by practical considerations, as the
execution of very deep cutoff may be difficult or unpracticable at site.
A weir or a barrage may fail not only due to seepage (i.e. subsurface flow) as
stated by Bligh, but may also fail due to the surface flow. The surface flow (i.e.
when flood water flows over the weir crest) may cause scour, dynamic action; and
in addition wi1l cause uplift pressures in the jump trough, (if the hydraulic jump
forms on the downstream). These uplift pressures must be investigated for various
flow conditions.
The maximum uplift due to this dynamic action (i.e. for
surface flow) should then be compared with the maximum
uplift under steady seepage (i.e. for subsurface flow) ; and
the maximum of the two chosen for designing the aprons and
the floors of the weirs.
Owing to the simplicity, Bligh's theory is still used for design of
small works.
A minimum practical thickness for the floor and a deep
vertical cutoff at the downstream end is, however, always
provided, in addition to the requirements of Bligh's theory.
However, on major works, Bligh's theory should never be
used, as it would lead to expensive and unsafe erroneous
designs.
Khosla’s Conclusions
1. Outer faces of sheet piles are much more effective than inner
faces and horizontal length of the impervious apron.
2. Intermediate sheet piles if smaller or equal in length are
almost ineffective.
Khosla’s Theory of Independent Variables
This is based on the assumption that the Potential flow theory can be applied to
subsoil flow.
Darcy‟s law, V = k.i
= k. dh/dx
Any system to which this theory is applicable must satisfy Laplace equation
φ = f(x, y, z) = velocity potential = k h
k = coefficient of permeability, h = residual head at any point within the soil
For twodimensional flow
If H is the differential head acting on the hydraulic structure,
Khosla introduced a hypothesis known as “independent variables”.
0
2
2
2
2
2
2
= + +
dz
d
dy
d
dx
d ¢ ¢ ¢
0
2
2
2
2
= +
dy
d
dx
d ¢ ¢
0
2
2
2
2
= +
dy
H d
dx
H d
According to Khosla‟s hypothesis, weir profile/irrigation structure should be
splitted into a no. of simple standard forms where analytical solution are available.
The most useful standard forms are:
(1) A straight floor of negligible thickness with a sheet pile at some intermediate
position.
(2) A straight horizontal floor of negligible thickness with sheet pile at
(i) u/s end, (ii) d/s end
(3) A straight horizontal floor depressed below the bed but with no vertical cutoff.
In general the weir/irrigation structures consists of combination of all forms
mentioned above. The uplift pressure are determined only at key points, i.e. the
intersection of the pile lines and the floor. The pressure variation between the key
points is assumed to be linear.
If, p = pressure at any point, H = total head
φ = p/H x 100
i.e. pressure at any point expressed as the % of the total head.
α = b/d
(1) Sheet pile not at end
α = b/d, α
1
= b
1
/d, α
2
= b
2
/d
L
1
= √(1+ α
1
2
), L
2
= √(1+ α
2
2
)
angles are in radians.
2
1 1
2
2
2
2
1
2 1
o o
ì
+ + +
=
+
=
L L
2
1 1
2
2
2
2
1
2 1
1
o o
ì
+ ÷ +
=
÷
=
L L

.

\

÷
=
÷
ì
ì
t
¢
1
cos
1
1
1
E

.

\

+
=
÷
ì
ì
t
¢
1
cos
1
1
1
C

.

\

=
÷
ì
ì
t
¢
1
1
cos
1
D
(2) Sheet pile at end
As, b
1
= b, b
2
=0
So, α
2
= b
2
/d = 0, α
1
= b
1
/d = b/d = α

.

\

÷
=
÷
ì
ì
t
¢
2
cos
1
1
E
0 cos
1
1
=

.

\

=
÷
ì
ì
t
¢
C

.

\

÷
=
÷
ì
ì
t
¢
1
cos
1
1
D
E C
¢ ¢ ÷ =100
1
D D
¢ ¢ ÷ =100
1
% 100
1
=
E
¢
2
1 1
2
2
2
2
1
2 1
o o
ì
+ + +
=
+
=
L L
2
1 1
2
o
ì
+ +
=
2
1 1
2
1
÷ +
=
o
ì
(3) Depressed Floor
Where
α = b/d
( )
2
'
3
3
2
o
¢ ¢ ¢ ¢ + ÷ ÷ =
D E D D

.

\

÷
=
÷
ì
ì
t
¢
2
cos
1
1
E

.

\

÷
=
÷
ì
ì
t
¢
1
cos
1
1
D
2
1 1
2
o
ì
+ +
=
'
100
'
1
D
D
¢ ¢ ÷ =
Exit Gradient (G
E
)
The pressure gradient at the exit point is called exit gradient.
For standard form consisting floor of length b, with a vertical cutoff of depth d,
the exit gradient at its d/s end is given by the equation:
α = b/d
In the equation, if d = 0, G
E
is infinite.
It is therefore essential that a vertical cutoff should be provided at the d/s end
of the floor.
To safeguard against piping (undermining), the exit gradient must not be
allowed to exceed a certain safe limit for different soils.
ì t
1
d
H
G
E
=
2
1 1
2
o
ì
+ +
=
Material Safe Exit Gradient
Shingle 1/4 to 1/5
Coarse sand 1/5 to 1/6
Fine sand 1/6 to 1/7
Graphical Solution:
Correction to be applied:
1. Correction for the thickness of the floor
2. Correction for the mutual interference of the piles
3. Correction for the sloping floor
1. Correction for the thickness of the floor
(a) Pile at u/s end
At point E: No correction is required, as pressure at this point is not going to
interfere with pressure system of any other pile.
At point C:
t
1
= thickness of floor
d
1
= depth of u/s pile
(b) Pile at d/s end
( ) additive C point for Correction
1
1
1
t
d
C D
×


.

\
 ÷
=
¢ ¢
1
1
1
C at pressure t
d
C D
C
×


.

\
 ÷
+ =
¢ ¢
¢
( ) e subtractiv E point for Correction
2
2
1
t
d
D E
×


.

\
 ÷
=
¢ ¢
2
2
1
E at pressure t
d
D E
E
×


.

\
 ÷
÷ =
¢ ¢
¢
(c) Pile at intermediate point
( ) additive C point for Correction
1
t
d
C D
×

.

\

÷
=
¢ ¢
( ) e subtractiv E point for Correction
1
t
d
D E
×

.

\

÷
=
¢ ¢
t
d
C D
C C
×

.

\

÷
+ = =
¢ ¢
¢ ¢
1
C at pressure
1
t
d
D E
E E
×

.

\

÷
÷ = =
¢ ¢
¢ ¢
1
E at pressure
1
2. Correction for the mutual interference of the piles
C = correction to be applied in percentage of head
D = depth of the pile, the influence of which is required to be determined on
the neighboring pile of depth „d‟.
(D is to be measured below the level at which interference is desired).
d = depth of the pile, on which the effect of another pile of depth „D‟ is
required to be found out.
b‟ = distance between the two piles
b = total length of the impervious floor

.

\

+
=
b
D d
b
D
C
'
19
Sign of the correction:
“+ve” for the points in u/s direction i.e. against the flow and
“ve” for the points in d/s direction i.e. in the direction of flow.
This equation does not apply to the effect of an outer pile on an intermediate pile
if:
intermediate pile is equal to or smaller in length than the outer pile and
intermediate pile is at a distance less than twice the length of outer pile.
Interference of any pile is only for the faces of the adjacent piles which lie
towards the interfering pile, e.g. pile no.2 will interfere with d/s of pile no.1 only.
Whereas u/s of pile no.2 will interfere with d/s of pile no. 1 and at the same time
d/s of pile no. 2 will also interfere with u/s of pile no.3.
3. Correction for the sloping floor
Sign of the correction:
+ve for down i.e. the –ve slope
– ve for up i.e. the +ve slope
The correction is applicable to the key points of the piles fixed at the start or
end of the slope. In the above figure the correction is only applicable to point
of the intermediate pile.
The % correction given in the above table is to be multiplied with the ratio
b
s
/b‟, where
b
s
= horizontal length below the slope
b‟ = distance b/w two pile lines in b/w which the sloping floor exists.
Slope Correction jn
% of pressure
1 in 1 11.2
1 in 2 6.5
1 in 3 4.5
1 in 4 3.3
1 in 5 2.5
1 in 6 2.5
1 in 7 2.3
1 in 8 2.0
Design Procedure:
(1) Find out the pressure at the key points.
(2) Apply the corrections due to mutual interference.
(3) Find out the corrected pressures.
(4) Find out the thickness of floor at different points.
(5) Find out the corrections due to thickness.
(6) Find out the corrected pressures at key points.
(7) Draw the hydraulic gradient line (H.G.L).
(8) Compute the Exit gradient (G
E
).
Example
Determine the percentage pressures at various key points in following
figure. Also determine the exit gradient and plot the hydraulic gradient
line for pond level on u/s and no flow on d/s.
Solution.
(1) For Upstream Pile Line No. (1)
Total length of the floor = b = 57.0 m.
Depth of u/s pile line = d = 154.00  148.00 = 6.0 m
From curve
An impervious floor of a weir on permeable soil is 16 m long and has
sheet piles at both the ends. The upstream pile is 4 m deep and the
downstream pile is 5 m deep. The weir creates a net head of 2.5 m.
Neglecting the thickness of the weir floor. Calculate the uplift pressures
at the junction of the inner faces of the pile with the weir floor by using
Khosla's theory.
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