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Effects of Sediment Load on the Velocity Field and Friction Factor of Turbulent Flow in an Open Channel


Nomicos, George Nicolas (1956) Effects of Sediment Load on the Velocity Field and Friction Factor of Turbulent Flow in an Open Channel. Dissertation (Ph.D.), California Institute of Technology. doi:10.7907/QZ0J-A652.


An experimental investigation was made of the friction characteristics of streams with sediment load. Measurements of velocity and sediment profiles, and calculations of friction factor, f, and von Karman's constant, k, were made in a 40-foot tilting flume. Several runs were made with uniform flow and various bed configurations using sands of two sizes (.10 mm and .16 mm). For better understanding of the effect of sediment on von Karman's constant k and the friction factor, uniform clear water flows were established on stabilized natural sand beds. The depth and the mean velocity were kept the same as those of the movable bed stream for which the sand bed was stabilized, and a direct comparison was made. Then, by adding loose sand in steps and establishing uniform flow, the change in von Karman's constant and the friction factor with sediment load was studied. It was found that both the friction coefficient f, and von Karman's k, decreased as the sediment load was increased, although the coefficient f decreased by a much smaller percentage than the constant k. It is hypothesized that the sediment load appreciably reduces the rate of turbulent energy diffusion, thus reducing the turbulence level of the fully established uniform flow and changing the balance of turbulence energy. In a very small region near the bed the turbulent energy production, diffusion, viscous action and dissipation of energy due to sediment in suspension are all of about equal importance. A theoretical study was made of the distribution of both the production of turbulent energy and the dissipation of energy by the sediment along a vertical profile for hydrodynamically smooth bed,and it was made possible to integrate them to the bottom of the stream.

Item Type:Thesis (Dissertation (Ph.D.))
Subject Keywords:(Civil Engineering and Mathematics)
Degree Grantor:California Institute of Technology
Division:Engineering and Applied Science
Major Option:Civil Engineering
Minor Option:Mathematics
Thesis Availability:Public (worldwide access)
Research Advisor(s):
  • Vanoni, Vito A.
Thesis Committee:
  • Unknown, Unknown
Defense Date:1 January 1956
Record Number:CaltechETD:etd-06182004-105138
Persistent URL:
Default Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:2635
Deposited By: Imported from ETD-db
Deposited On:21 Jun 2004
Last Modified:13 Jul 2023 23:30

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PDF (Nomicos_gn_1956.pdf) - Final Version
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