Flow resistance law under suspended sediment laden conditions

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The uniform flow resistance equation, in the form due to Manning or Darcy-Weisbach, is widely applied to establish the stage-discharge relationship of a river cross-section. The application of this equation, namely the slope-area method, allows to indirectly measure the corresponding river discharge by measurements of bed slope, water level, cross-section area, wetted perimeter and an estimate of channel roughness. In this paper, a recently deduced flow resistance equation for open channel flow was tested during conditions of suspended sediment-laden flow. First, the flow resistance equation was determined by dimensional analysis and by applying the condition of incomplete self-similarity for the flow velocity profile. Then the analysis was developed by the following steps: (i) for sediment-laden flows characterized by known values of mean diameter and concentration of suspended sediments, a relationship (Eq. (28)) between the Γ function of the velocity profile, the channel slope and the Froude number was calibrated by the available measurements; and (ii) a relationship for estimating the Γ function (Eq. (29)) which also takes into account the mean concentration of suspended particles was also established. The theoretical flow resistance law (Eq. (26)) coupled with the relationship for estimating the Γ function (Eq. (28) or Eq. (29)), which is characterized by the applicability of a wide range of flow conditions, allowed to estimate the Darcy-Weisbach friction factor for flows with suspended-load. The analysis showed that for large-size mixtures the Darcy-Weisbach friction factor can be accurately estimated neglecting the effect of mean concentration of suspended sediments while for small-size mixtures the friction factor decreases when the mean sediment concentration increases.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages8
JournalFlow Measurement and Instrumentation
Publication statusPublished - 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Modelling and Simulation
  • Instrumentation
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering

Cite this