Experimental Study of Secondary Flow in Narrow and Sharp Open-Channel Bends

Document Type : Regular Article


State Key Laboratory of Water Resources and Hydropower Engineering, Wuhan University, Wuhan 430072, China



Secondary flow is a prominent feature of channel bends; it alters the streamwise velocity and bed shear stress distributions. Experiments were conducted to investigate the complex pattern of secondary flow in a narrow and sharp open-channel bend and the underlying mechanism of generation of multiple circulation cells. Compared with the moderate bends, the sharp bends are characteristic of multiple circulation cells from the 90° section. In addition to the curvature-induced circulation cell (S1) and turbulence-induced counter-rotation circulation cell (C1) near the outer bank, another circulation cell (S2) was observed near the inner bank and was attributed to flow separation. A term-by-term analysis of the vorticity equations indicates that the centrifugal term favours S1 and C1 while opposing S2. The turbulence-related term accounts for the formation of C1 and S2. The advective transport term redistributes vorticity and maintains the existence of S2. The dependence of secondary flow structure on Reynolds number and aspect ratio was also explored. With an increase in the Reynolds number from 23000 to 37000, both the strength and size of C1 are reduced by 50%, whereas the size of S2 increases by 20%, and its strength slightly decreases. With a decrease in the aspect ratio from 3.3 to 2, the strengths of S1, S2, and C1 are doubled, and the sizes of C1 and S2 increase by 90% and 20%, respectively.


Main Subjects

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