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H138
Open Channel Hydraulics I Uniform Flow

Harlan H. Bengtson, Ph.D., PE

Open channel flow occurs whenever the flowing liquid has a free surface at atmospheric pressure. For example, this may be in a natural river channel, in a manmade concrete channel for transporting wastewater, or in a closed conduit, such as a storm sewer, which is flowing partially full. The driving force for open channel flow must be gravity, since the flow, which is open to the atmosphere, cannot be pressurized. In contrast, the primary driving force for flow in pressurized, closed conduit flow is usually pressure. There may be a gravity component in pressurized, closed conduit flow as well, but, in fact, the flow is often against gravity, as when the fluid is being pumped upward. In this introductory course several aspects of open channel flow will be presented, discussed and illustrated with examples. The major topics included in this introductory course are: i) classifications of open channel flow and ii) uniform flow in open channels.

This course includes a multiple-choice quiz at the end, which is designed to enhance the understanding of the course materials.


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