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# The open channel toolbox & estimating critical discharge

## Peter Wilcock Wednesday Bastille Day 2010

Will sediment move? Is o > c ? As discharge Q increases, up goes the depth o incrases with flow depth Qc occurs when o = c
2.5 2.0 Elevatio (m) on 1.5 1.0 0.5 0.0 0 2 4 6 8 Station (m) 10 12 14 16
Lazy River Section 2

## The open channel toolbox (for flow and sediment transport)

Conservation Relations Water Mass (aka continuity) Momentum (aka F = ma, Newtons 2nd Law) Energy Constitutive Relations Flow resistance (well use Manning eq.) Sediment transport (for incipient motion {Shields} or transport rate)

Wilcock Wednesday am

Continuity
Conservation of water Channel cross section 1 mass Just accounting, like your checkbook Channel cross section 2 Rate of change of water mass in reach = net rate of input and output Q1 = U1 A1 and Q2 = U 2 A2 Inputs and outputs: Normal flow: input = U 2 A1 = output so no change in For Q1 = Q2 , U1 A2 water mass in reach
Q is water discharge (e.g. ft3/s or m3/s); U is mean velocity (e.g. ft/s or m/s)

## S slope B top width h d th depth P wetted perimeter A x/s area

Volume of water: AL Weight of water: gAL Downslope component of weight of water: gALS

## Boundary stress: o (stresss is force/area) Boundary force: PL

The depth-slope product
Figure adapted from WINXSPro manual, USFS

o is the boundary shear stress the flow force per unit area it drives the sediment transport

## oPL = gALS o = gRS

Wilcock Wednesday am

Flow Resistance
A relation between velocity, flow depth, y, p , boundary stress, and boundary roughness Well use Mannings S 2/3 U= R eqn. n e e an eqn. t Prefer a eq with S constant roughness (n) Q = UA = AR 2 / 3 n Using continuity:
S is the slope of the energy grade line, which is also the slope of the channel for uniform flow

## The hard part: determining roughness n

How to measure: survey cross section and reach, which gives S and A, R as a function of water surface elevation (aka stage or WSEL) Measure discharge at a known stage, solve for n

Q=

S AR 2 / 3 n

n=

S 2/3 R A Q

If you dont measure, you are guessing Picture books, tables Formulas n = fn(D, R, veg., )

Wilcock Wednesday am

Wilcock Wednesday am

Wilcock Wednesday am

## Spreadsheet illustrates the back-calculation of roughness n

Enter values only in green cells 1. CALIBRATION. For the slope, flow depth, and cross section you have specified, use Manning's eqn to find the roughness n for a value of the discharge Q in cell F1 2. FIND DISCHARGE. For the slope, flow depth, and cross section you have specified, use Manning's eqn to find the discharge Q for a value of the roughness n in cell F5 3. FIND CRITICAL DISCHARGE. You can also calculate the boundary stress and compare it to the critical stress c needed to entrain grains of size D specified in cell F9 (given a value of critical Shields Number given in cell F10 Discharge (Q ): Channel Velocity (U ): Manning's n : Manning's n : Channel Velocity (U ): Discharge (Q ): Grain Size D Critical Shields Number t*c c /c 352.9 1.39 0.065 0.065 1.40 355.0 90 0.03 9.6 96 43.7 0.22
cfs ft/sec

n=
Q=

1.49 S AR 2 / 3 Q
1.49 S AR 2 / 3 n
nD = 0.028 t' = 2.6 t'/tc = 0.06 0 06

Channel Slope (S ): Flow Depth: Selected Flow Depth: Cross-Sectional Area (A ): Hydraulic Radius (R ):

## 0.0020 3.67 3.67 253.2 1.6

ft ft sq.ft. ft

ft/sec cfs mm Pa Pa

Cross section of Minebank Run stream channel channel, 28 feet downstream of gage 0158397967 December 2002.

Survey Data: Grade Rod (ft) 1.1 2.6 4.3 4.4 4.5 6.6 6.7 6.8 7.2 7.6 6.1 5.6 5.1 5.0 4.8 48 4.6 3.9 3.2 1.5

Distance (ft) 0.8 3.0 10.7 32.8 46.1 52.3 59.0 66.4 84.3 94.8 106.8 113.9 118.5 126.6 133.0 133 0 160.5 167.1 185.3 189.8

Enter information only in green cells!! No cutting and pasting! No inserting or deleting rows!

0 = gRS S c * c = ( s 1) gD

Left Bank

20

40

60

80

Distance (ft)
100

120

140

160

180

8 200

## Combining the tools

Relating Q to in a simple, prismatic, wide channel
Q = BhU B = Q h = / gS U= S 2/3 so h n
This is how we link transport rates (a function of ) to water discharge Q

Discharge = width * depth * velocity Width increase with discharge The depth-slope product Mannings eqn

Q = Q gS

5/3

S or n
1

## Its only algebra!

S 5 / 3 1 Q= n gS

## Boundary stress related to discharge, slope, roughness, channel shape

Wilcock Wednesday am

There are two basic transport problems Incipient motion. Will grains move? Threshold channel: flow is no larger than the critical discharge Qc that produces grain motion. Transport Rate. What is the transport rate? Mobile-bed channels transport supplied sediment These are different problems!!! Q Qc does not mean that the sediment supplied can be transported!
Consider a highway toll booth

## Q < Qc does not mean there will be no transport!

Consider a pipe

Will sediment move? Is o > c ? The incipient motion problem As Q increases, up go stage & R (controlled by resistance and continuity). For a given S , we can find boundary stress using momentum o = gRS and compare to c
Shear stress (Pa)
2.5 2.0 Elevation (m) 1.5 1.0 0.5 0.0 0 2 4 6 8 Station (m) 10 12 14 16
Lazy River Section 2

100

Motion
10

No Motion
0.1 0.1 1 10 100

quartz in water

## and then calculate Qc . Or, we can simply adjust Q until R = Rc

Wilcock Wednesday am

## Spreadsheet illustrates the estimation of critical discharge Qc

Enter values only in green cells 1. CALIBRATION. For the slope, flow depth, and cross section you have specified, use Manning's eqn to find the roughness n for a value of the discharge Q in cell F1 2. FIND DISCHARGE. For the slope, flow depth, and cross section you have specified, use Manning's eqn to find the discharge Q for a value of the roughness n in cell F5 3. FIND CRITICAL DISCHARGE. You can also calculate the boundary stress and compare it to the critical stress c needed to entrain grains of size D specified in cell F9 (given a value of critical Shields Number given in cell F10 Discharge (Q ): Channel Velocity (U ): Manning's n : Manning's n : Channel Velocity (U ): Discharge (Q ): Grain Size D Critical Shields Number t*c c /c 352.9 1.39 0.065 0.065 1.40 355.0 90 0.03 9.6 96 43.7 0.22
cfs ft/sec

n=
Q=

1.49 S AR 2 / 3 Q
1.49 S AR 2 / 3 n
nD = 0.028 t' = 2.6 t /tc t'/tc = 0.06

Channel Slope (S ): Flow Depth: Selected Flow Depth: Cross-Sectional Area (A ): Hydraulic Radius (R ):

## 0.0020 3.67 3.67 253.2 1.6

ft ft sq.ft. ft

ft/sec cfs mm Pa Pa

Cross section of Minebank Run stream channel channel, 28 feet downstream of gage 0158397967 December 2002.

Survey Data: Grade Rod (ft) 1.1 2.6 4.3 4.4 4.5 6.6 6.7 6.8 7.2 7.6 6.1 5.6 5.1 5.0 4.8 48 4.6 3.9 3.2 1.5

Distance (ft) 0.8 3.0 10.7 32.8 46.1 52.3 59.0 66.4 84.3 94.8 106.8 113.9 118.5 126.6 133.0 133 0 160.5 167.1 185.3 189.8

Enter information only in green cells!! No cutting and pasting! No inserting or deleting rows!

0 = gRS RS c * c = ( s 1) gD

## 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Grade Rod (ft)

Left Bank

20

40

60

80

Distance (ft)
100

120

140

160

180

8 200

Q = BhU B = aQ h = / gS U= S 2/3 h so n
b

## Uncertainty Exercise For a simple, wide, prismatic channel, find Qc directly

Q = aQ

( )

gS

5/3

S or n
1

a S 5 / 3 1b Q= g n gS
* c = c ( s 1) gD

so

* c =

5 / 3 1b a Qc = * ( s 1) D 7/6 c nS

c 0.045 ( s 1) gD

Wilcock Wednesday am

## Q = BhU B = aQb h = / gS U= S 2/3 h so n

Q = aQb gS

( )

5/3

What if you are not too sure about some of the values needed to determine Qc?
S or n
1

a S 5 / 3 1b Q= g n gS
* c = c ( s 1) gD

## Like n, D, and *c what do you do?

so

5 / 3 1b a * Qc = c ( s 1) D nS 7 / 6

We could approximate your assessment of the value of n with a normal distribution with mean n = 0.035 & standard deviation n = 0.0025. 95% of this distribution falls between 0.03 and 0.04, as can be seen in the cumulative frequency plot, so we are saying that the real value of n is 95% likely to fall between 0.03 and 0.04 and that it is more likely to be around the center of the distribution (0.035) than in the tails. We use this distribution to pick values of n in our Monte Carlo simulation. How does that work? We use a random number generator to pick a number between 0 and 1 and then use this number to find a value of n for the cumulative frequency distribution. For example, for 0.88, n = 0.0379 for 0.23, n = 0.0332

Frequency

Suppose your best estimate of Mannings n is 0.035 and that you are pretty sure that the real value falls between 0.03 and 0.04.

n = 0.035

n = 0.0025

2 n

## 0.02 Cumulative Frequency 1 0.8 0.6 0.4 0.2 0 0.02

1 0.8 0.6 0.4 0.2 0 0.02

2 n

0.05

## 0.03 0.04 Manning's n

0.05

Cumulative Frequency

## 0.03 0.04 Manning's n

0.05

Wilcock Wednesday am

1.
n

* c

## The Monte Carlo simulation

* 1. Pick values of n, c , and D from specified frequency distributions.

2. Calculate critical discharge and transport rate. 3. Repeat 1000 times. 4. Distribution of calculated values gives estimate of the effect of input uncertainty on calculated critical discharge and transport rate.
400 300 200 100 0 0.020 0.024 0.028 0.032 0.036 0.040 0.044 0.048 200

Q = BhU B = aQ b h = / gS U= S 2/3 so h n

2.

(a)

## Manning's n 150 100 50 0

(b)

* c

4.

Q = aQ b gS

( )

5/3

S or n
1

0.030

0.034

0.038

0.042

0.046

0.050

0.054

0.058

a S 5 / 3 1 b Q= n gS
* c = c ( s 1) gD

(c)

(d)

## Critical Discharge Qc (m^3/s)

so

5 / 3 1 b a * Qc = c ( s 1) D nS 7 / 6

Monte Carlo

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50

56

12

15

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LEGEND

## Monte Carlo Simulation of Qc calculation, using 1000 trials

Specify Mean St. Deviation pdf Manning's n 0.03 0.002 normal c 0.045 0.0050 normal Grain size 5 0.25 normal D (mm) 32 lognormal 95% Pred. Calculate Mean St. Deviation Interval Qc (m^3/s) 8 1 (m 3/s) 8.1 3.4 34 6.7 67
200 150 100 50 0

400 300 200 100 0 0.020 0.024 0.028 0.032 0.036 0.040 0.044 0.048

(a)

Manning's n

21

(b)

* c

(c)

(d)

## Critical Discharge Qc (m^3/s)

This is the (uncertain) solution to the threshold channel problem Need a better answer? tracer gravels

0.030

0.034

0.038

0.042

0.046

0.050

0.054 18

12

15

44

50

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56

21

0.058

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