Author(s): Kamal El Kadi Abderrezzak; Leszek Lewicki; André Paquier; Nicolas Rivière; Gilbert Travin
Keywords: Channel intersection; depth-averaged model; dividing flow; laboratory experiment; open channel junction; transcritical flow
Abstract: An experimental study of the characteristics of dividing critical flows in a 90° open-channel junction formed by three horizontal equal-width branches is presented, conducted for various inflow discharges and downstream boundary conditions. Outflow discharges and flow depths were also measured. Four main flow patterns are identified considering the location and length of the hydraulic jumps that develop across the main and lateral channels. A relationship between the discharge division ratio and the tailwater Froude number is found, reproducing well the experimental data. Practical applications of this relationship include the design of open channel and pipe networks and one-dimensional numerical modelling of flood propagation in urban areas. The study shows also that a two-dimensional depth-averaged numerical model hardly gives better predictions of the discharge ratios because of the presence of three-dimensional features at the junction.