Energy losses in compound open channels
Y. Zech, D. Bousmar, N. Rivière, S. Proust, A. Paquier (2010)



This paper investigates energy losses in compound channel under non-uniform flow conditions. Using the first law of thermodynamics, the concepts of energy loss and head loss are first distinguished. They are found to be different within one sub-section (main channel or floodplain). Experimental measurements of the head within the main channel and the floodplain are then analyzed for geometries with constant or variable channel width. Results show that head loss differs from one sub-section to another: the classical 1D hypothesis of unique head loss gradient appears to be erroneous. Using a model that couple 1D momentum equations, called ``Independent Sub-sections Method (ISM), head losses are resolved. The relative weights of head losses related to bed friction, turbulent exchanges and mass transfers between sub-sections are estimated. It is shown that water level and the discharge distribution across the channel are influenced by turbulent exchanges for a) developing flows in straight channels, but only when the flow tends to uniformity; b) flows in skewed floodplains and symmetrical converging floodplains for small relative flow depth; c) flows in symmetrical diverging floodplains for small and medium relative depth. Flow parameters are influenced by the momentum flux due to mass exchanges in all non-prismatic geometries for small and medium relative depth, while this flux is negligible for developing flows in straight geometry. The role of an explicit modeling of mass conservation between sub-sections is eventually investigated.

Mots clés : chenal, tête, main, messe, perte d'energie, ecoulement à surface libre, mecanique des fluides, canal experimental, ecoulement en lit compose, ecoulement turbulent, compound channel, non-uniform flow, energy loss, head loss, momentum transfer, turbulent exchange, mass conservation