Experimental investigation of the effect of implementing steps over chute on local scour variations downstream of a flip bucket

Document Type : Research Paper


1 PhD Candidate, Irrigation and Reclamation Engineering, Department, College of Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of Tehran, Karaj, Iran

2 Department of Irrigation and Reclamation Engineering, College of Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of Tehran, Karaj, Iran.

3 Department of Water Engineering, Faculty of Agriculture Science, University of Guilan, Rasht, Iran.


One of the issues that researchers have always considered in the design of storage dams is reducing the kinetic energy of flow passing through the spillways to control the velocity, reduce the destructive energy, and scour depth downstream of spillways. Stepped chutes and flip buckets are the most common energy dissipator structures in emergency spillways at dams. In light of the effect of scour depth downstream of these structures has on their stability and safety, in the present study, the effect of hydraulic and geometric parameters on variations of scour characteristics downstream of smooth and stepped chutes was investigated experimentally. Experiments were conducted at a hydraulic lab at the University of Guilan in 2020-2021 with a ratio of critical flow depth and step height (yc/h) of 0.53-0.97, bucket exit angles of 15° and 30°, the ratio of tailwater and critical flow depth (ht/yc) ranging from 1.5–2, the ratio of height falling and step height (HF/h) varied in the range of 2-4, and a spillway slope of 1:2 (V: H). The comparison of results demonstrated that implementing steps over a smooth chute profile reduced maximum downstream scour depth of the flip bucket by 15° and 30° exit angles in comparison with a smooth chute for the minimum relative critical flow depth of 22 and 41 percent, respectively, and for the maximum relative critical flow depth of 14 and 20 percent, respectively. Also, with an increase in the exit angle from 15° to 30°, the maximum scour depth decreases for the minimum and maximum tailwater depths by an average of 18 and 11 percent, respectively, for a smooth chute and by an average of 19 and 17 percent, respectively, for a stepped chute. Furthermore, a regression relationship was derived for predicting the scour depth downstream of stepped chutes with the flip bucket.


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