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Proceedings of 2013 IAHR Congress

© 2013 Tsinghua University Press, Beijing

Propagation of a positive surge against an initially steady flow:
influence of the flow rate
Carlo Gualtieri
Assistant Professor, Dept. of Civil, Construction and Environmental Engineering (DICEA), University of
Napoli "Federico II", Napoli (Italy) Email: carlo.gualtieri@unina.it
Hubert Chanson
Professor, School of Civil Engineering, The University of Queensland, Brisbane QLD 4072, (Australia)
E-mail h.chanson@uq.edu.au

ABSTRACT: A positive surge results from a sudden change in flow that increases the depth. It is the
unsteady flow analogy of the stationary hydraulic jump and a geophysical application is the tidal bore.
Although a positive surge may be analysed using a quasi-steady flow analogy, its inception and
development is commonly predicted using the method of characteristics and Saint-Venant equations. After
formation, the flow properties immediately upstream and downstream of the surge front must satisfy the
continuity and momentum principles. This paper presents the results of new experimental investigations
conducted in a large rectangular channel. Several experiments were conducted five different initial
discharges (Q=0.035, 0.045, 0.050, 0.060 and 0.070 m³/s) to investigate a positive surge propagating
upstream against the initially steady flow for the same downstream gate opening after closure. In each
case, a breaking (weak) bore was observed and free-surface measurements were performed using
non-intrusive acoustic displacement meters. Detailed unsteady velocity measurements were further
carried out with high temporal resolution using acoustic Doppler velocimetry for Q=0.035 and 0.045 m³/s.
The analysis of free-surface profiles revealed the influence of the flow rate on the surge characteristics.
Unsteady flow turbulence analysis highlighted some patterns in streamwise and transverse velocities due to
the effect of the flow rate.
KEY WORDS: Environmental hydraulics, turbulence, positive surge, surge front, instantaneous velocity
field, Reynolds stress, physical modelling.
1 INTRODUCTION
A positive surge results from a sudden change in flow that increases the depth. It is the unsteady
flow analogy of the stationary hydraulic jump and a geophysical application is the tidal bore (Chanson,
2012). Positive surges are commonly observed in man-made and natural channels. In water supply canals
for irrigation and water power purposes, a positive surge may be induced by a partial or complete closure
of a control structure, e.g. a gate, resulting in a sudden change in flow that increases the water depth. In
rivers and estuaries, a form of positive surge is the tidal bore which is a positive surge of tidal origin.
Tsunami-induced bores were also observed. Although a positive surge may be analysed using a
quasi-steady flow analogy, its inception and development is commonly predicted using the method of
characteristics and Saint-Venant equations. After formation, the flow properties immediately upstream
and downstream of the surge front must satisfy the continuity and momentum principles (Henderson,
1966, Chanson 2004). For a fully-developed positive surge, the surge is seen by an observer travelling at
the surge speed U as a quasi-steady flow situation called a hydraulic jump in translation (Fig. 1). In a

respectively. Lemoine (1948). Finally. All experiments were performed with the same downstream gate opening after closure and five different initial discharges (Q=0. 2012). 2011b. Lubin et al. 2010). horizontal channel and neglecting friction loss.045.e.. 1 – Definition sketch of a positive surge. In this paper the authors present the results from new experimental works conducted in a large rectangular in which the positive surge propagated upstream against an initially steady flow. 0. U Initial water level dconj Vconj d0 V0 x Fig.070 m³/s). Furuyama and Chanson. Boussinesq (1877). 1995. the solution of the continuity and momentum equations applied to a control volume across the surge front yields: d conj d0 Frconj Fr 1 2   1  8 Fr  1  2   (1) 23 2  1  8 Fr 2  1     (2) 32 where dconj and d0 are respectively the new and initial flow depths (Fig. 2002. to the initial flow conditions and conjugate flow conditions. Most of previous experimental studies were limited to visual observations and sometimes free-surface measurements. 2008.060 and 0. 1).035. but more recently. b). 0. free-surface 2 . Gualtieri and Chanson 2011a. Koch and Chanson. and the Froude numbers Fr and Frconj are the surge Froude numbers defined respectively as: Fr  V0  U g d0 Frconj  (3) Vconj  U g d conj where U is the surge velocity as seen by a stationary observer on the channel bank and positive in the upstream direction and V0 is the flow velocity (Fig.050. 1). Benet and Cunge (1971) and Treske (1994).. 0. unsteady turbulence measurements were carried out using particle image velocimetry (PIV) and acoustic Doppler velocimetry (ADV) techniques (Hornung et al.. i. 2009.rectangular. immediately behind the positive surge front. if the subscripts 0 and conj refer. A very recent reviews about tidal bores were prepared by Chanson (2012a. numerical studies of a surge were recently presented (Soares Frazão and Zech. For each case. Positive surge for an observer standing on the bank Positive surges were studied by hydraulicians and applied mathematicians for many decades since Since Barré de Saint-Venant (1871). Classical experimental works on undular surges included and Favre (1935).

Overall this study was aimed at revealing the influence of the flow rate on the hydrodynamics characteristics of a positive surge. Additional information was obtained with digital cameras Panasonic™ Lumix DMC-FZ20GN (shutter: 8 to 1/2. The buoyancy effect was negligible since the dye particles were neutrally buoyant. 2. This method is known for the absence of bias. Chanson. the sampling rate was 50 Hz and the data accuracy was 1% of the velocity range. Its controlled and rapid closure induced a positive surge propagating upstream. The acoustic displacement meters were located at x=1. 2003).070 m³/s). SURGE GENERATION 2.050. 0. The study was carried out with the same gate opening after closure (hg = 15 mm) and five different initial discharges (Q=0. All measurements were conducted on the channel centreline.5 m wide.000 s) and Canon™A85 (shutter: 15 to 1/2.025 mm. and detailed unsteady velocity measurements were carried out with high temporal resolution using Doppler velocimetry for Q=0. present experience demonstrated recurrent problems with the velocity data.985 m.045. The vegetable dye introduced some very fine particles in the water. 3 .995 m. 2 EXPERIMENTAL SETUP. The water discharge was measured with orifice meters with an accuracy of less than 2%. where x is the distance from the channel upstream end. 2011b. For all experiments. 4 m. 5 m. The only dependant parameter was the flow rate. the correlation value and the signal to noise ratio. 2012). The flume was made of smooth PVC bed and glass walls. Koch and Chanson. 2009). 0. CHANNEL AND INSTRUMENTATION. Past and present experiences demonstrated many problems because the signal outputs combine the effects of velocity fluctuations. 12 m long and it was horizontal. In the present study.18 mm and a response time of less than 50 ms.000 s). the signal strength value. where x is the downstream distance from the channel intake. 2002. Gualtieri and Chanson 2011a. The channel was 0. at x=11. 0. 2000). A tainter gate was located next to the downstream end.035 and 0.1 Experimental setup The experiments were performed in a large tilting flume at the University of Queensland previously used by Chanson and co-workers (Koch and Chanson. 6 m. The error on the vertical position of the probe was Δz<0. Doppler noise. Unsteady free-surface measurements were performed using seven non-intrusive acoustic displacement meters Microsonic™ Mic + 25/IU/TC with an accuracy of 0.9 m. Note also that spurious data collected by the acoustic displacement meters were removed and the removed points were obtained by linear interpolation of end points. The translation of the ADV probe in the vertical direction was controlled by a fine adjustment travelling mechanism connected to a Mitutoyo™ digimatic scale unit.2Positive surge generation The study of positive surges was conducted with one set of initial flow conditions (Table 1). 2.045 m³/s detailed unsteady velocity measurements were carried out with high temporal resolution using an acoustic Doppler velocimeter (ADV) Sontek™ 16MHz micro-ADV equipped with a two-dimensional side-looking head acoustic Doppler velocimetry. ADV measurements are performed by measuring the velocity of particles in a remote sampling volume based upon the Doppler shift effect (McLelland and Nicholas.measurements were performed using non-intrusive acoustic displacement meters. Wahl. 2010. The situation improved drastically by mixing some vegetable dye (Dytex Dye™ Green) in the entire water recirculation system (Figs.060 and 0.035. The velocity range was 1. (3)). unsteady flow post-processing was limited to a removal of communication errors and a replacement by linear interpolation.15 m from the channel intake. The accuracy on the longitudinal position was Δx<± 2 mm. 2 and 3). 9 m and 10. The effect of added dye was to increase the time-averaged signal correlations and time-averaged signal to noise-ratios. turbulent shear and other disturbances (Goring and Nikora. The initial flow conditions were supercritical (Eq.045 m³/s. 2009). signal aliasing. increasing in turn the number of excited particles in the ADV control volume. An ADV system records simultaneously four values with each component of a sample: the velocity component. these post-processing techniques are not applicable to unsteady flows (Koch and Chanson. While several ADV post-processing techniques were devised for steady flows (Goring and Nikora. 2009.035 and 0. including low correlations and low signal to noise ratios. 2002.0 m/s. and waters were supplied by a constant head tank. For Q=0.

also. In this case the free-surface undulations had a smooth appearance and no wave breaking and no formed roller was observed. Fr<1.015 0. whereas previous studies showed that undular surges have a three-dimensional 4 .2012).g.045 50-4 0. Gualtieri and Chanson 2011a. weak surges (Koch and Chanson. Gualtieri and Chanson 2011a. 2011b. One gate opening after closure was considered (Table 1).015 0.015 Type U – m/s dconj – m Weak 0.2011b.1214 0.1399 0.2 s (Koch and Chanson. Table 1 – Experimental flow conditions Run Q – m³/s 35-4 0. Run 35-4.541 Free-surface measurements 1. Furthermore. 2009.964 0.070 d0 – m 0. A positive surge was generated by the rapid partial closure of the downstream gate. The gate closure time was less than 0.3 to 1.1545 hg – m 0.015 0. Lateral view (left) and looking downstream at the incoming wave crest (right) 3 BASIC FLOW PATTERNS Previous studies (Koch and Chanson. 2 and 3). the surge propagation was relatively slow and the bore front was followed by a train of well-formed undulations: this is typical of an undular surge.230 Weak 0. Note that. In the present study only breaking (weak) surges were observed (Figs.338 ADV & surface measurements 1. All the measurements were performed on the channel centreline. d0 was measured at x=5 m and dconj was derived using Eq. 2012) demonstrated that at low inflow Froude numbers. In Table 1. Gualtieri and Chanson 2011a.195 Weak 0.1036 0.1200 0.264 Fr Remarks 1. The earlier work of Koch and Chanson (2009) showed little transverse differences but close to the sidewall where the ADV system was further adversely affected by the sidewall proximity. 2009. 2012).441 Free-surface measurements 1.Steady gradually-varied flow conditions were established for at least 5 min prior to measurements and the flow measurements data acquisition was started about 1. (1).015 0. 2011b.835 0.035 45-4 0. The surges propagated at a relatively fast speed. e.208 Weak 0. 2009. hg is the gate opening and the surge front celerity U was calculated using the displacement meters data between x=6 m and 4 m. 2 – Weak surge. In Table 1 the data for Run 35-4 and Run 45-4 refer to the average of 23 runs with the same gate opening but different vertical elevation z for the ADV system sampling volume. After closure the surge propagated upstream and each experiment was stopped when the bore front reached the intake structure.519 Free-surface measurements Fig.839 0. previous studies showed a quasi-two-dimensional free-surface in breaking.445 ADV & surface measurements 1.673 0.151 Weak 0. if the structure of flow in positive surges is generally 3D.5 min prior to gate closure.060 70-4 0. at intermediate inflow Froude numbers some wave breaking was observed at the bore front. and the free-surface appeared to be quasi-two-dimensional.8.050 60-4 0.830 0.

2012). 2011b. 5 . 4 and 5. 4 – Runs 45-4 and 60-4. Dimensionless instantaneous water depth d/d0 at x = 5 m. 2010. Fig.flow structure (Koch and Chanson 2008. Gualtieri and Chanson 2011b. Overall the flow patterns were consistent with earlier studies (Koch and Chanson. the bore celerity ranged from 0. column 6). The breaking bore front was associated with some air entrainment in the roller (Figs. with the free-surface curving upwards ahead of the roller toe (Koch and Chanson. 2009. Gualtieri and Chanson 2011a. Typical instantaneous free-surface profiles are presented in Figs. 4 shows some data for the weak surges for Q = 45 and 60 L/s (Runs 45-4 and 60-4) at x=5 m. Fig.e. 3 – Weak surge. Note that the zero dimensionless time corresponded to 10. 2009.96 m/s (Table 1. 2012). Chanson.0 seconds prior to the wave crest passage at the sampling location. 2011b. 2 and 3). The free-surface profiles at x=5 m were not significantly affected by the presence of the ADV system.5. 2012). Run 60-4.67 to 0. Lateral view looking upstream (left) and from above (right) Fig. Q=60 L/s. although the free-surface elevation rose slowly immediately prior to the roller. Gualtieri and Chanson 2011a. The roller passage was associated with a marked discontinuity of the free-surface. Each curve shows the instantaneous dimensionless flow depth d/d0 as a function of the dimensionless time from gate closure t×(g/d0)0. The maximum water depth was higher for the surge with the larger flow rate. i. For the entire range of investigations.

5. 4 UNSTEADY FLOW FIELD IN THE SURGES. Each experiment was repeated to obtain the vertical distribution of the velocity component time series at several vertical elevations. Herein Vx is the longitudinal velocity component positive downstream. for the larger flow rate. and obtained numerically by 6 . 5 shows the instantaneous dimensionless flow depth d/d0 at x = 5 m as a function of the dimensionless time from gate closure t×(g/d0)0. Q=35 and 45 L/s. Fig. detailed velocity measurements were carried out beneath the bore front using the ADV system located at x=5 m (Table 1). The longitudinal flow deceleration yielded negative streamwise Vx velocities with (Vx/V0)min=−0. against the dimensionless time t×(g/d0)0. and Vy is the horizontal transverse velocity component positive towards the left wall. 6 and 7 illustrate the unsteady turbulent velocity field at two vertical elevations for the two surges.e. right). 6 and 7). Figs. an initial gentle rise of the free surface was linked to a rapid decrease of the longitudinal velocity component at all vertical elevations (Koch and Chanson. Each graph presents the dimensionless velocities Vx/V0 and Vy/V0 and water depth d/d0. 60-4 and 70-4.5 for all five experiments. z/d0 > 0. 1 and Table 1). Present experimental results were generally close to those predicted by the momentum principle. At the larger depth.Fig.e. The velocity records showed some marked difference depending upon the vertical elevation z (Figs. a difference could be noted between Q=35 L/s and Q=45 L/s.5 from 97 to 104 (Fig. 45-4.088. Dimensionless instantaneous water depth d/d0 at x = 5 m. In a fully-developed surge.3.0 seconds prior to the first wave crest passage at the sampling location. confirmed by Chanson (2010) and Gualtieri and Chanson (2011b). the ratio of conjugate depths (dconj/d0) must satisfy the continuity and momentum equations (Eq. left). The comparison indicated that. Run 35-4 and Run 45-4. This flow feature was first reported for different flow rates by Koch and Chanson (2009). In the breaking surges. In contrast. i. (1)). The sudden increase in water depth corresponded to a rapid deceleration to yield a slower flow motion to satisfy the conservation of mass (Figs. as expected for the higher Froude number. 2009). right and Fig. 5 – Runs 35-4. The existence a sudden longitudinal flow reversal indicated unsteady flow separation beneath the surge front. The zero dimensionless time corresponded to 10. 6.7. the increase in the water depth to the steady-state conditions due to the passage of the surge was larger. Immediately after. i.e. 6. 50-4.e. Q=35 and 45 L/s. The maximum water depths were lower for the surges with the smaller flow rates. where V0 is the flow velocity (Fig. for a dimensionless time t×(g/d0)0. RESULTS AND DISCUSSION For two flow rates. i. z. the streamwise velocity component decreased rapidly at the surge front but remained positive beneath the roller toe (Fig. For Run 35-4 some negative Vx values were observed although for a short duration. i.3. for z/d0 < 0. 6 and 7). the passage of the roller was marked by a sharp rise in free-surface elevation corresponding to a discontinuity in terms of the water depth.

the turbulent velocity data showed some large fluctuations of all velocity components beneath the surge and in the flow field behind the surge. b).709 (right) 5 CONCLUSION This study presented some physical measurements in positive surges conducted under controlled flow conditions in a large channel. 6 – Run 35-4.073. Furthermore. left. lower streamwise velocities Vx corresponded to larger values of the transverse velocities Vy (Figs. the streamwise Vx velocities remained always positive. Large time variations of the longitudinal and transverse velocity components were seen at all vertical elevations. 6.7. for both the flow rates.073 (left) and z/d0=0. Gualtieri and Chanson. Overall.Furuyama and Chanson (2008). left).085 and 0. Detailed turbulence measurements were performed with a 7 . but close to the zero (Fig. Dimensionless instantaneous water depth d/d0 and velocity components Vx/V0 and Vy/V0 at z/d0=0. and 7. Fig. 2011).085 (left) and z/d0=0. It should be also noted that these negative values of the streamwise velocity may contribute to sediment inception in movable beds as the transient recirculation motion next to the bed yields to a drag force acting in the upstream direction (Khezri and Chanson. This trend was already observed in earlier experimental studies (Koch and Chanson. Dimensionless instantaneous water depth d/d0 and velocity components Vx/V0 and Vy/V0 at z/d0=0.e. z/d0=0. For Run 45-4. 2012a. 7 – Run 45-4. left). close to the bed.742 (right) Fig. 2009. i.

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