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Aide Mémoire
Subject: Useful formulas for flow in rivers and channels
The University cannot take responsibility for any misprints or errors in the presented formulas. Please use them
carefully and wisely.
1. General basic equat ions
The general continuity equation for flow, following from conservation of mass, is:
, )
∂ρ
∂
ρ
t
div v + ·
r
0
For an incompressible fluid Dρ/Dt=0. Furthermore for a homogeneous fluid also grad(ρ)=0, leading
to the following continuity equation (conservation of volume):
div v
r
· 0
From the basic equations for conservation of momentum the commonly used equation of motion of
NavierStokes can be derived (assuming homogeneous incompressible fluid with constant density
ρ):
, ) , )
∂
∂ ρ
ν
ρ
r
r r r
r
u
t
u u p gz u K + ⋅ + + − ∇ ·
← → ÷÷÷÷÷ ← → ÷÷ ← → ÷÷ ← → ÷÷ ← → ÷
grad grad grad
1 1
2
local acceleration pressure gravity internal external
and convection friction forces
• The equation of Euler can be derived by neglecting of internal friction terms (viscous terms)
• The relation between convective term and viscous shearstress term can be expressed in
terms of a Reynolds number:
u L
u L
uL
2
2
/
/
Re
ν
ν
· ·
 Small Re: stable system, laminar flow, NavierStokes is linear.
 Large Re (> O(10
3
)): nonlinear convection dominates, system is instable (small changes
give large differences in solution), turbulent flow.
• The internal friction terms or viscous terms are diffusive terms.
• The external forces are mainly the shear stresses on the bed, walls and surface (windshear).
• The subdivision of units to timeaverage and erratic components (e.g., u=+u´) will lead to
balance equation for the average components that is called the Reynold equation. It is
commonly used for turbulent flows.
Page 2
2. Equat ions for Two dimensional flow
Basic equations
The basic equations for 2DH flow follow from depth integration of the Reynolds equations. The
continuity equation for flow is:
∂
∂
∂
∂
∂
∂
a
t
au
x
av
y
+ + · 0
The basic equations of motion (in their commonly used form):
, ) , ) , )
, ) , ) , )
∂
∂
∂
∂
∂
∂
∂
∂
τ
ρ ρ
∂
∂ ρ
∂
∂
∂
∂
∂
∂
∂
∂
∂
∂
τ
ρ ρ
∂
∂ ρ
∂
∂
u
t
u
u
x
v
u
y
g
a z
x a
aT
x
aT
y
v
t
u
v
x
v
v
y
g
a z
y a
aT
x
aT
y
b
bx
xx xy
b by xy yy
+ + +
+
+ · +
+ + +
+
+ · +
1 1
1 1
in which
u = depthaverage velocity in xdirection
v = depthaverage velocity in ydirection
a = local water depth
z
b
= local bed level
τ
bx
, τ
by
= bedshear stress in x,ydirection
T
xx
, T
xy
, T
yy
= horizontal exchange of momentum through viscosity, turbulence,
spiral flow, and nonuniformity of velocity distribution
Shear stresses can be expressed by 2D Chézy relations:
τ
ρ
τ
ρ
bx by
gu u v
C
gv u v
C
·
+
·
+
2 2
2
2 2
2
and
with C = Chézy coefficient
Spiral flow
The 2D effect of the 3D spiral flow pattern due to curvature of the streamlines can be obtained from
a parametrised model. The effect of spiral flow on the direction of bottomshear stress can be
obtained from:
δ ·
¸
¸
_
,
−
¸
¸
_
,
← → ÷÷÷ ← → ÷÷÷
arctan arctan
*
v
u
A
a
R
regular flow spiral flow
where δ is the angle with xcoordinate axis, R
*
is the effective radius of the streamline, and A is the
spiral flow coefficient expressed as:
A
g
C
· −
¸
¸
_
,
2
1
2
ε
κ
κ
with ε is a calibration coefficient, and κ is the Von Karman coefficient (≈ 0.4)
Page 3
In an equilibrium situation (at the end of a long bend) the spiral flow intensity I is expressed by
I
a u v
R
·
+
2 2
*
Relaxation
For adaptation of 2D nonuniform horizontal velocity distribution to a 2D uniform equilibrium
distribution a length scale is defined as (relaxation length):
λ
w
C h
g
·
2
2
3. Equat ions for one dimensional flow
Dynamic flow (SaintVenant equations)
Integration of the continuity equation yields:
B
a
t
Q
x
q
in
∂
∂
∂
∂
+ − · 0
in which a is water depth, B is the total width (including the storage width), and q
in
is lateral inflow
Integration of the equation of motion yields for conservation of momentum:
∂
∂
∂
∂
α
∂
∂
τ
ρ
Q
t x
Q
A
gA
z
x
A q u
s
w
s
b
in
+
¸
¸
_
,
+ · − + ′
2
in which A
s
is crosssectional area of flow, u′ is the xcomponent of velocity of lateral inflow, z
w
is the
water surface elevation, τ
b
is the bedshear stress (hydraulic roughness).
Combination of the equations for motion and continuity above yields the following variant for the
equation of motion:
, )
∂
∂
∂
∂
∂
∂
τ
ρ
u
t
u
u
x
g
z
x
q
A
u u
w b in
s
+ + · − − − ′
← → ÷÷÷÷÷ ← → ÷÷ ← → ÷÷ ← → ÷÷
local acceleration pressure roughness lateral
and convection and gravity inflow
• Hydraulics roughness is normally expressed by the Chézy formula: τ
ρ ρ
b
s
gu u
C R
gQQ
C A R
· ·
2 2 2
in
which R = Hydraulic radius (see uniform flow). (Alternative roughness formulations: see below)
• In a riverflood wave the ‘dynamic wave’ approach can be used that assumes that the intertia
term (local acceleration term) can be neglected. The flood wave is then expressed by the
following diffusion model (after simplification for A
s
=B
s
u, R=a, constant C and B) :
∂
∂
∂
∂
∂
∂
a
t
Q
Ba
a
x
C B a
QB
a
x
s
+
¸
¸
_
,
−
¸
¸
_
,
·
3
2 2
0
2 2 3 2
2
Page 4
with B is the total width(including the storage width). From the general diffusion model follows
the propagation speed of the wave c:
c
B
Q
a
Q
Ba
uB
B
s
· ≅ ·
1 3
2
3
2
∂
∂
Damping of the flood wave is governed by the diffusion coefficient, which is expressed as:
¦ }
K
Q
Bi
b Fr with b B B
b
s
· − ⋅ ·
2
1
2
/
Damping of the flood wave occurs proportional with [2√(πKt)]
1
• A more simplified approach than the dynamicwave approach can be used for relatively ‘flat’
flood waves. By assuming that the flow (surface slope) behaves like a uniform flow, the
‘kinematic wave’ approach is obtained. Different than the dynamic wave, the kinematic wave
does not
Uniform flow (Chézy formula)
The uniformflow equations follow from the Chézy formula
u C R i with R A P · ⋅ ·
with i = local hydraulic gradient or energy gradient, and P = wetted perimeter of the cross section
with flow area A.
For a rectangular channel with free surface and B>>a: R
Ba
B h
a ·
+
≈
2
, while for a filled circular
pipe R=D/4 with D is the diameter of the pipe.
For the equilibrium depth follows:
a
q
C i
e
·
2
2
3
The Froude number Fr, representing the balance between inertia and gravity, and characteristic for
subdivision of subcritical (Fr<1) and supercritical flow (Fr>1, torrential regime), is defined as:
Fr
u
ga
·
For Fr = 1 the flow is critical. Then the depth equals the critical depth a
g
expressed as:
a
q
g
g
·
2
3
Hydraulic roughness
Hydraulic roughness is expressed in terms of the Chézy (C), ManningStrickler (n), Darcy
Weisbach (f). The relation between C and f is:
Page 5
fC g
2
8 ·
The coefficients are generally written as
C = 2,3
g 12R
k + / 3,5
= 18
12R
k + / 3,5 κ δ δ
log log
and
f = 0,24
12R
k + / 3,5
2
log
δ
¸
1
]
1
In these equations k is the equivalent sandroughness according to Nikuradse. For an alluvial bed
the value of k varies strongly with the flow conditions. In rivers the flow regime will often be
hydraulically rough (k >> δ).
The value of C then becomes according to WhiteColebrook:
White  Colebrook: C = 18
12R
k
log
or according to Strickler:
Strickler: C = 25
R
k
1/ 6
¸
1
]
1
Most often used, and linked with Strickler's equation, is the Manning roughness formula (or
ManningStrickler roiughness formula). The relation between Manning's roughness coefficient n
and the Chézy coefficient C is (with R in meters):
C
R
n
·
1 6 /
Page 6
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0.25
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0.15
0.1
0.09
0.08
0.07
0.06
0.05
0.04
0.03
0.02
0.01
Flood plains
Mountain
streams Lined channels
Excavated
dredged Natural stream on plain
Channels Minor natural streams (Width at flood < 30 m)
Major
stream
Table Range of values of the roughness coefficient n for different types of channels
Surface profiles
Ven Te
Chow
(1959)
Page 7
The equation of Bélanger holds for a channel with constant width and bed slope i
b
(i.e., following
from onedimensionalflow basic equations or SaintVenant equations simplified for stationary flow):
d
d
h
x
=
i
h

h
h
 h
b
e
g
3
3
3
3
With
¦ }
h =
h
= 
h
/
h
= 
Fr e g e
η β and 1 1
3
2
follows:
x =
h
i


+
e
b
η β
η
η
d
constante
1
3 ∫
¸
1
]
1
1
to be solved using the Bresse method:
ψ η
η
η
η η
η
η
( ) =

=
+ +
(  )
+ arctan
+
 arctan
2
d
1
1
6
1
1
1
3
2 1
3
1
3
3
2
∫
·
¸
1
]
1
1
¸
¸
_
,
¸
¸
_
,
¸
1
]
1
ln
After introduction of a dimensionless length scale
Λ =
x
i
h
b
e
follows from equations above:
¦ } , ) , ) ¦ } 2 1
2 1 2 1
Λ Λ
 =    η η β ψ η ψ η
If at x = 0 holds that h
0
= η
0
h
e
then the Bresse method can be used to determine (if Fr
2
<< 1, hence
β → 1) for which x still half (50%) of the induced backwater effect remains. By fitting of Bresse
function through a power function the following approximation can be obtained:
Λ
1 2 0
4 3
0 24
/
/
, · η
For relatively small backwater effects (η
0
→ 1) the value Λ
1/2
= 1/4 is obtained. These
approximations are useful for sketching surface profiles.
Flow over weirs, spillways and other structures
Flow over a broadcrested weir can be submerged (drowned flow) or free (overflow or modular
Page 8
flow). The discharge through the weir q can be expressed as function of the upstream velocity
head H
u
(energy level) and the water depth downstream h
d
, both relative to the crest level.
Broadcrested weir, submerged flow
q = mh g(H  h)
< m < m
2
0 9 1 3 11 with: average , , ( , ) ≈
Broadcrested weir, free flow
q = m g
H
2
3
2
3
3/2
⋅
These formulas are used for sharpcrested weirs as well, but usually with a higher discharge
coefficient (m).
Weirs with oblique flow:
If in a stream channel with discharge q
0
flow passes a weir with an angle α, then q
0
follows from
0
1
q = q.
sin
α
in which q follows from the regular discharge formula (for weirs in perpendicular flow)
The continuity equation for flow is: ∂a ∂au ∂av + + =0 ∂t ∂x ∂y The basic equations of motion (in their commonly used form): ∂ (a + zb ) τ bx 1 ∂ (aTxx ) 1 ∂ ∂u ∂u ∂u +u +v +g + = + ∂t ∂x ∂y ∂x ρa ρ ∂x ρ ∂ (a + zb ) τ by 1 ∂ aTxy ) 1 ∂ ∂v ∂v ∂v +u +v +g + = + ∂t ∂x ∂y ∂y ρa ρ ∂x ρ (aTxy ) ( ∂y aTyy ) ∂y ( in which u v a zb τbx. and κ is the Von Karman coefficient (≈ 0. spiral flow. τby Txx. turbulence.ydirection horizontal exchange of momentum through viscosity. R* is the effective radius of the streamline. and nonuniformity of velocity distribution Shear stresses can be expressed by 2D Chézy relations: τ bx = ρgu u 2 + v 2 C2 and τ by = ρgv u 2 + v 2 C2 with C = Chézy coefficient Spiral flow The 2D effect of the 3D spiral flow pattern due to curvature of the streamlines can be obtained from a parametrised model. Txy. The effect of spiral flow on the direction of bottomshear stress can be obtained from: a v δ = arctan − arctan A u R* ← → ← → regular flow spiral flow where δ is the angle with xcoordinate axis. Tyy = = = = = = depthaverage velocity in xdirection depthaverage velocity in ydirection local water depth local bed level bedshear stress in x. and A is the spiral flow coefficient expressed as: A= g 2ε 1 − κC κ2 with ε is a calibration coefficient.2. Equations for Two dimensional flow Basic equations The basic equations for 2DH flow follow from depth integration of the Reynolds equations.4) Page 2 .
u′ is the xcomponent of velocity of lateral inflow. and qin is lateral inflow Integration of the equation of motion yields for conservation of momentum: ∂z τ ∂Q ∂ Q 2 + α + gAs w = − As b + qin u ′ ∂t ∂x A ∂x ρ in which As is crosssectional area of flow. constant C and B) : 2 ∂a 3 Q ∂a C 2 Bs a 3 ∂ 2 a + − =0 ∂t 2 Ba ∂x 2QB ∂x 2 Page 3 . The flood wave is then expressed by the following diffusion model (after simplification for As=Bsu. (Alternative roughness formulations: see below) • In a riverflood wave the ‘dynamic wave’ approach can be used that assumes that the intertia term (local acceleration term) can be neglected. τb is the bedshear stress (hydraulic roughness). B is the total width (including the storage width).In an equilibrium situation (at the end of a long bend) the spiral flow intensity I is expressed by I= a u2 + v2 R* Relaxation For adaptation of 2D nonuniform horizontal velocity distribution to a 2D uniform equilibrium distribution a length scale is defined as (relaxation length): λw = 3. Combination of the equations for motion and continuity above yields the following variant for the equation of motion: ∂z τ q in ∂u ∂u + u + g w = − b − (u − u ′ ) ∂t ∂x ∂x ρ As ←→ ← → ← → ←→ local acceleration pressure roughness lateral and convection and gravity inflow • Hydraulics roughness is normally expressed by the Chézy formula: τ b = ρgu u C R 2 = ρgQ Q 2 C 2 As R in which R = Hydraulic radius (see uniform flow). R=a. zw is the water surface elevation. C2h 2g Equations for one dimensional flow Dynamic flow (SaintVenant equations) Integration of the continuity equation yields: B ∂a ∂Q + − q in = 0 ∂t ∂x in which a is water depth.
DarcyWeisbach (f). representing the balance between inertia and gravity. and P = wetted perimeter of the cross section with flow area A. while for a filled circular B + 2h ae = 3 q2 C 2i The Froude number Fr. The relation between C and f is: Page 4 . Different than the dynamic wave. Then the depth equals the critical depth ag expressed as: ag = 3 q2 g Hydraulic roughness Hydraulic roughness is expressed in terms of the Chézy (C). the ‘kinematic wave’ approach is obtained. From the general diffusion model follows the propagation speed of the wave c: c= 1 ∂Q 3 Q 3 uBs ≅ = B ∂a 2 Ba 2 B Damping of the flood wave is governed by the diffusion coefficient. which is expressed as: K= Q 1 − b ⋅ Fr 2 2 Bib { } with b = Bs / B 1 Damping of the flood wave occurs proportional with [2√(πKt)] • A more simplified approach than the dynamicwave approach can be used for relatively ‘flat’ flood waves. For the equilibrium depth follows: Ba ≈ a . ManningStrickler (n). By assuming that the flow (surface slope) behaves like a uniform flow. and characteristic for subdivision of subcritical (Fr<1) and supercritical flow (Fr>1. torrential regime). the kinematic wave does not Uniform flow (Chézy formula) The uniformflow equations follow from the Chézy formula u = C R ⋅i with R= A P with i = local hydraulic gradient or energy gradient.with B is the total width(including the storage width). is defined as: Fr = u ga For Fr = 1 the flow is critical. For a rectangular channel with free surface and B>>a: R = pipe R=D/4 with D is the diameter of the pipe.
For an alluvial bed the value of k varies strongly with the flow conditions.fC 2 = 8 g The coefficients are generally written as C = 2. In rivers the flow regime will often be hydraulically rough (k >> δ). and linked with Strickler's equation. The value of C then becomes according to WhiteColebrook: White .5 In these equations k is the equivalent sandroughness according to Nikuradse.3 and g 12R 12R log = 18 log κ k + δ / 3.Colebrook: C = 18 log or according to Strickler: 12R k Strickler: R C = 25 k 1/ 6 Most often used.24 log2 k + δ / 3. is the Manning roughness formula (or ManningStrickler roiughness formula). The relation between Manning's roughness coefficient n and the Chézy coefficient C is (with R in meters): C= R 1/ 6 n Page 5 .5 k + δ / 3.5 12R f = 0.
little undergrowth Flood plains Regular section.2 0. lower stages.09 0. deep pools Very weedy reach. More ineffective slopes and sections Sluggish reaches.Table Surface profiles Page 6 0.08 0.25 Minor natural streams (Width at flood < 30 m) Major stream Range of values of the roughness coefficient n for different types of channels Ven Te Chow (1959) .15 0. winding. straight cleared land with tree stumps and sprouts heavy stand of timber. grass Cultivated areas Scattered brush. full stage. cobbles and few boulders Vegetated steep banks. more stones and weeds Clean.07 0. no boulders of brush Irregular and rough section 0. some pools and shoals Idem. no brush. summer. no pools Idem. clean Straight.straight. cobbles with large boulders Mountain streams Excavated dredged Natural stream on plain Channels Lined channels 0.06 0. deep pools.02 0.05 0.04 0. floodways with timber and underbrush Vegetated steep banks.03 0.1 Manning nvalue Smooth metal Corrugated metal Wood Concrete Brick Asphalt Straight earth. gravel Rockcut Clean. weedy. more stones and weeds Idem. heavy weeds Light brush and trees Medium to dense brush dense willows. gravel.01 Pasture.
η3 = = η 2 + η + 1 1 + ln 2 6 (η .h g With h = η he and β = 1 .β ψ (η2) ..Λ1 = {η2 .The equation of Bélanger holds for a channel with constant width and bed slope ib (i.β + constante 1 . following from onedimensionalflow basic equations or SaintVenant equations simplified for stationary flow): 3 dh h3 . These approximations are useful for sketching surface profiles. By fitting of Bresse function through a power function the following approximation can be obtained: 4 Λ 1/ 2 = 0.e.η3 ib ∫ to be solved using the Bresse method: ψ (η ) = ∫ dη 1 .ψ (η1) { } 2 If at x = 0 holds that h0 = η0 he then the Bresse method can be used to determine (if Fr << 1.h g / he { }3 = 1 .he = ib 3 dx h3 .24η0 / 3 For relatively small backwater effects (η0 → 1) the value Λ1/2 = 1/4 is obtained.arctan arctan 3 3 3 After introduction of a dimensionless length scale Λ = x ib he follows from equations above: Λ 2 . Flow over weirs.η1} .Fr 2 follows: dη x = he η . spillways and other structures Flow over a broadcrested weir can be submerged (drowned flow) or free (overflow or modular Page 7 . hence β → 1) for which x still half (50%) of the induced backwater effect remains.1 ) 2η + 1 1 1 .
Broadcrested weir. sin1 α in which q follows from the regular discharge formula (for weirs in perpendicular flow) Page 8 . The discharge through the weir q can be expressed as function of the upstream velocity head Hu (energy level) and the water depth downstream hd.9 < m < 1. then q0 follows from q0 = q. submerged flow q = mh 2 g(H . free flow q = m 2 2 g ⋅ H 3/2 3 3 These formulas are used for sharpcrested weirs as well.1) Broadcrested weir.flow). both relative to the crest level. but usually with a higher discharge coefficient (m).3 (average m ≈ 1.h) with: 0. Weirs with oblique flow: If in a stream channel with discharge q0 flow passes a weir with an angle α.