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Lets get started on Lesson 2: Steady Uniform Flow.

Remember that in steady


uniform flow, the hydraulic conditions do not change with time or distance.
Image description 1: Photo shows tranquil flow in a river to represent steady
uniform flow.
Image description 2: Photo shows rapid, turbulent flow in a river with sections of
whitewater illustrating steady non-uniform flow
flow.

The learning outcomes for this lesson are presented on this slide. By the end of this
lesson, you will be able to:
Describe the fundamental hydraulic equations
Define average shear stress
Describe the Manning
g Equation
q
This lesson should take approximately 20 minutes to complete.

In steady uniform flow, the channel geometry and hydraulic conditions do not
change with distance or time.
The basic conservation laws governing flow in open channels are derived from the
three fundamental laws of physics:
Conservation of mass, also known as the continuity principle
Conservation of momentum
Conservation of energy

The principle of conservation of mass states that the mass of flow entering a control
volume minus the mass of flow leaving the control volume equals the change of
mass within the control volume. In the sketch on your screen, the control volume is
represented by the channel between sections 1 and 2. In steady flow, mass in
equals mass out, so there is no change of mass within the control volume.
Because water is an incompressible fluid, the mass of water in a given volume, say
one cubic foot,
foot is the same everywhere in the flow
flow. Therefore
Therefore, the principle of
conservation of mass becomes the Continuity Equation for open channel flow:
Volume rate of flow (Q) equals mean velocity (V) times the cross-sectional area (A)
at any cross section, and because in this lesson the flow is both steady and uniform,
Q1 = Q2
A1 = A2
V1 = V2
Image Description: The sketch shows a straight uniform channel with upstream
cross section 1 and downstream cross section 2. Since the flow is steady, the
discharge at both cross sections is the same, and because the channel is uniform,
the velocity at both cross sections is also the same.
Equation: Discharge equals velocity times cross sectional area of flow.

Momentum is mass times velocity. For fluid flow, the mass passing any point is the
density of water times the volumetric rate of flow Q, which by continuity is AV.
So, momentum becomes
Q(V)
Or from continuity
continuity,
A(V2)
The coefficient of momentum, Beta, corrects for the flow distribution across the
cross section and is usually assumed to be 1.0 in open channel flow. Beta typically
ranges from 1.0 to 1.1.
Equation: Momentum equals mass density of water times discharge times beta
times velocity. From continuity, momentum also equals mass density of water times
cross sectional flow area times beta times (velocity squared).

The conservation of energy for flow from section 1 to section 2 is described by the
equation on your screen.
There are two types of energy in open channel flow: Kinetic energy and potential
energy. Kinetic energy is mass times velocity squared, divided by two. Potential
energy is comprised of both pressure and elevation. In hydraulics, energy is
represented by a height, referred to as head. Thus the terms in the Energy
Equation are typically called velocity head
head, pressure head
head, and elevation head
head. The
energy loss term hL is called the head loss.
The left hand side of the equation represents the total energy at section 1. The right
hand side represents the total energy at section 2, plus the amount of energy lost by
the flow between sections 1 and 2. The Energy Equation shows that some energy
is lost between sections 1 and 2 and must be accounted for by the head loss term.
Energy is dissipated as heat generated by boundary friction and turbulence.
The energy correction factor alpha corrects for the actual velocity distribution in a
cross section. Typical values of alpha range from about 1.1 to 1.4 for open channel
flow.
Equation: alpha sub 1 times (velocity sub 1 squared) divided by (2 times
gravitational acceleration) plus pressure sub 1 divided by specific weight of water
plus elevation sub 1 equals alpha sub 2 times (velocity sub 2 squared) divided by (2
times gravitational acceleration) plus pressure sub 2 divided by specific weight of
water plus elevation sub 2 plus head loss.

In open channel flow, the pressure head term (p over gamma) in the energy
equation is equal to flow depth, y. The Energy Equation for open channel flow
shown on your screen reflects this fact.
To summarize, head is an engineering term frequently used in open channel flow
concepts and definitions. Note that each of the head terms in the Energy Equation
has units of length, such as feet or meters, and thus represents a difference in
elevation.
elevation
The velocity head term represents the kinetic energy of the flow. The pressure
head and elevation head together represent the potential energy of the flow.
Equation: alpha sub 1 times (velocity sub 1 squared) divided by (2 times
gravitational acceleration) plus depth sub 1 plus elevation sub 1 equals alpha sub 2
times (velocity sub 2 squared) divided by (2 times gravitational acceleration) plus
depth sub 2 plus elevation sub 2 plus head loss.

The energy grade line, or EGL, represents the total energy at any given cross
section. It is defined as the sum of the three components of energy at each cross
section (velocity head, pressure head, and elevation head). The hydraulic grade
line, or HGL, is the sum of only the pressure and elevation heads.
For steady uniform flow in an open channel, the slopes of the water surface, the bed
surface and the energy grade line are all equal to each other. Under these
conditions the depth of flow is referred to as normal
conditions,
normal depth
depth.
The head loss term, hL, represents the amount of energy lost as the water flows
from section 1 to section 2. Because energy loss is related primarily to friction
between the flowing water and the boundary, the slope of the energy grade line is
commonly referred to as the energy gradient or friction slope and is often
denoted Sf.
In steady uniform flow, Q1=Q2, y1=y2, and V1=V2.
Image Description: The sketch shows a longitudinal profile of water flowing in an
open channel from section 1 to section 2. The individual energy components of
velocity head, pressure head, and elevation head are shown at both sections. For
steady uniform flow, the sketch illustrates that the slopes of the energy grade line,
hydraulic grade line, and channel bed are all the same.

Shear stress occurs between fluid elements of different velocities. When different
elements move with different velocities, each element tries to drag its neighboring
elements along with it due to viscosity.
The figure on your screen shows a typical velocity profile with low velocity near the
bed and higher velocities near the water surface. The velocity gradient is the
change in velocity with change in depth, v/y. At any point in the flow, the shear
stress between fluid elements is the velocity gradient times the viscosity of the fluid
fluid.
Shear stress exists only when a fluid is in motion. It is a tangential stress that acts
in the direction of the flow. An analogy would be sandpaper sliding over a block of
wood. The units of shear stress are force per unit area, typically expressed as
pounds per square foot for open channel flow.
Image Description: The figure shows a typical velocity profile with low velocity near
the bed and higher velocities near the water surface. The velocity gradient at a
point in the flow is shown as the change in velocity with change in depth.

Boundary shear stress, denoted by the Greek symbol tau, is the force that the fluid
exerts as it tries to drag the boundary along with it. It is expressed as a force per
unit area, and in open channel flow the units are typically pounds per square foot.
The average shear stress on the boundary is calculated using the equation on this
screen. In steady uniform flow in open channels, the slope of the energy grade line
is the same as the water surface and of the channel bed.
In the equation, shear stress equals the specific weight of water times the hydraulic
radius times the slope. The slope must be expressed as a dimensionless term such
as feet per foot, NOT in degrees or percent.
Equation: Shear stress tau equals the unit weight of water times the hydraulic
radius times the slope.

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Because of the difficulties involved in determining the shear stress, and hence the
velocity distribution in turbulent flow, other approaches to determine mean velocities
in rivers are commonly used. One such approach is the Manning Equation.
In the Manning Equation, the boundary shear stress is expressed implicitly in the
Manning resistance coefficient n. Manning n is commonly referred to as a
roughness coefficient because it is typically associated with friction between the
boundary and the flowing water
water. Again
Again, you can think of sandpaper sliding over a
block of wood. Coarse sandpaper generates more friction than fine sandpaper.
Once again, in steady uniform flow in open channels, the slope of the energy grade
line is the same as the water surface and of the channel bed.
The variables in the Manning Equation are:
V is the average flow velocity in the cross section
n is a coefficient that represents resistance to flow
R is the hydraulic radius
S is the channel bed slope
Ku is a unit conversion factor and is equal 1.486 for English units and 1 for SI
In steady uniform flow, the flow depth associated with the Manning Equation is
referred to as normal depth, denoted yn.
Equation: Velocity equals (K sub u divided by the Manning roughness coefficient n)
times (hydraulic radius raised to the two thirds power) times (slope raised to the one
half power)

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The Manning equation can be combined with the continuity equation to obtain the
equation for discharge presented on your screen.
Equation: Discharge equals (K sub u divided by the Manning roughness coefficient
n) times cross sectional flow area times (hydraulic radius raised to the two thirds
power) times (slope raised to the one half power)

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Over many decades, a catalog of Manning n values has been assembled so that an
engineer can estimate the appropriate value by knowing the general nature of the
channel boundaries. An abbreviated list of the Manning roughness coefficients (or n
values) is given on the next slide.
The Manning n value can also be estimated from tabulated values, photographs or
equations.

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Manning n can be estimated from tabulated values according to the factors that
affect roughness. Examples of various boundary types for which tabulated values
of n have been developed include smooth concrete, wood, and canals and rivers
with varying degrees of roughness.
The values presented in the table on your screen are from FHWA Hydraulic Design
Series No. 4, Introduction to Highway Hydraulics.

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Photographs of typical rivers and creeks and their respective n values provide a
valuable reference for roughness characteristics of natural channels.
A very useful pictorial guide for estimating Mannings n was prepared by H.H.
Barnes published in 1967 for the U.S. Geological Survey called Roughness
Characteristics of Natural Channels and is listed in the Resource Section as USGS
Water Supply Paper 1849. A reference guide produced by FHWA in 1987 is also
listed in the Resources Section
Section.
Image Description: The image shows four photographs of rivers and canals with
varying degrees of roughness on the bed and banks. A Manning n value is
associated with each photograph, ranging from 0.028 to 0.060.

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An alternative approach for refining estimates of Manning n values consists of the


selection of a base roughness value for a straight, uniform channel and then adding
values based on conditions in the actual channel being considered.
The equation on your screen can be used to compute the effects that different
factors have on the n value for a given channel.
Thus channel n values are based on the type and size of the materials that
Thus,
compose the bed and banks of the channel and the shape of the channel.
Equation: n equals (n sub 1 plus n sub 2 plus n sub 3 plus n sub 4 plus n sub 5)
times m

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Lets move on to the knowledge check questions beginning with the next slide.
Select the best answer for each of the questions that follow.

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Question 1. The principle of continuity states that discharge equals average flow
velocity times cross sectional area:
a) True
b) False

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The correct answer to Question 1 is:


a) True
The principle of continuity states that discharge equals average flow velocity times
cross sectional area.

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Question 2. According to the Energy Equation,


a) The pressure head always increases in the downstream direction
b) The elevation of the channel bed is not relevant
c) Energy at a downstream location is less than the energy at an upstream location
by an amount called the head loss
d) The Froude Number determines the amount of energy at any point in the system

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The correct answer to Question 2 is:


According to the Energy Equation,
c) Energy at a downstream location is less than the energy at an upstream location
by an amount called the head loss

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Question 3. The slope of the Energy Grade Line is:


a) Primarily associated with friction losses between two locations, and is commonly
referred to as the energy gradient or friction slope
b) Horizontal when the flow is steady and uniform
c) Defined by the difference in pressure head from section 1 to section 2
d) Calculated as the difference in velocity from section 1 to section 2 divided by the
distance between the sections

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The correct answer to Question 3 is:


The slope of the Energy Grade Line is:
a) Primarily associated with friction losses between two locations, and is commonly
referred to as the energy gradient or friction slope

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Question 4. Boundary shear stress is:


a)
b)
c)
d)

The slope of the Shear Line between section 1 and section 2


The total energy per unit area at any point in the flow
The tendency of fluid in motion to drag the boundary along with it
Equal to 1.0 for any fluid at rest

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The correct answer to Question 4 is:


Boundary shear stress is:
c) The tendency of fluid in motion to drag the boundary along with it

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Question 5. Manning n values for a section of a river can be estimated from:


a)
b)
c)
d)

Aerial photographs
The Energy Equation
The cross sectional area of flow and the top width
Comparing n values of catalogued photographs of channels and canals with the
channel being analyzed

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The correct answer to Question 5 is:


Manning n values for a section of a river can be estimated from:
d) Comparing n values of catalogued photographs of channels and canals with the
channel being analyzed

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In Lesson 2, you have learned how to:


Describe the fundamental hydraulic equations
Define average shear stress
Describe the Manning Equation
This concludes Lesson 2: Steady Uniform Flow.
Return to the course curriculum to select the next lesson. To close this window,
select the X in the upper right hand corner of your screen.

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