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Hydraulic Design and Application of Labyrinth Spillways. Kathy Frizell. David L. Hinchliff. U.S. Bureau of Reclamation. January WATER. A spillway is a structure used to provide the controlled release of flows from a dam or levee into . A labyrinth spillway and a fish ladder (left) of the Hope Mills Dam in North Carolina. Spillway with flip bucket at Burdekin Dam. Water enters. The capacity of a labyrinth spillway is a function of the total head, the effective crest length, and the crest coefficient. The crest coefficient.

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Therefore, the geometry of the weir needs tweaking to expected conditions. Modifications in replaced the drum gate system with leaf gates using hydraulic cylinders, which showed a frustrating habit of failing; too often resulting in lowered and unappealing reservoir conditions while spilkway were conducted.

Forum article Hydraulics of Stepped Spillways: Retrieved 1 November A spillway is a structure used to provide the controlled release of flows from a dam or levee into a downstream area, typically the riverbed of the dammed river itself.

One such design is the volute siphon which makes use of water forced into a spiral vortex by volutes or fins on a funnel that draw labytinth out of the system. Trespassers within the spillway run the risk of drowning. There is also a drop inlet which resembles an intake for a hydroelectric power plant but transfers water from behind the dam directly through tunnels to the river downstream. For drowned weir flow, the weir begins to act as a linear weir, with appropriate drowning reduction factor applied to the free flow weir equation.

The rate of discharge is controlled only by the depth of water above the reservoir’s spillway. My Visits Group Lists: A controlled spillway has mechanical structures or gates to regulate the rate of flow. RCC, gabions and design techniques e. In an intermediate type, normal level regulation of the reservoir is controlled by the mechanical gates.


A bell-mouth spillway [11] is designed like an inverted bell where water can enter around the entire perimeter. Dams may also have bottom outlets with valves or gates which may be operated to release flood flow, and a few dams lack overflow spillways and rely entirely on bottom outlets.

Spillway – Wikipedia

Most often, they are lined on the bottom and sides with concrete to protect the dam and topography. The hydraulics of stepped chutes and spillways. If remote nodes are not specified in such instances, the upstream flow area will be estimated using the channel breadth, Wand depth of weir above bed, P.

Look up spillway in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.

Ultimately an innovative design was selected: A number of labyyrinth components can be incorporated into their design to include chute blocks, baffle blocks, wing walls, surface boils or an end sill. This allows ISIS to calculate an area, and hence velocity, in order to calculate the velocity and total heads.

These uncontrolled spillways are also called morning glory[12] after the flower or glory hole [12] spillways. Skimming Flow in Stepped Spillways. Spillways are usually fenced and equipped with locked gates to prevent casual trespassing within the structure. The structures must safely withstand the appropriate spillway design flood SDF.

Looking down into the Bell mouth spillway at Llyn Celyn. Horseshoe weirs – although not specifically validated by the research of Tullis et al. One parameter of spillway design is the largest flood it is designed to handle. H 1 – total upstream head, relative to weir crest m. The placement of the labyrinth on the embankment area resulted in an upstream shift across the labyrinth near mid-stream — in effect, two labyrinth weirs side-by-side.


Letting flood waters flow without inundating lakeside property upstream is the trick. A labyrinth weir is a structure designed to convey large flows at low heads by increasing the effective length of the weir crest with respect to the channel breadth.

Operating protocols may require “cracking” a gate to release a small amount of water to warn persons downstream. A labyrinth spillway entrance bottom at the Ute Dam in New Mexico. They may have a controlling device and some are thinner and multiply lined if space and funding are tight. University of Queensland, Division of Civil Engineering. This parameter may also be expressed as an exceedance frequency with a one per cent chance of being exceeded in any given year.

A spillway is located at the top of the reservoir pool. From design through construction, the interested are encouraged to read the referenced papers at bottom for a wealth of fascinating detail — with photos!

Studies by Freese and Nichols, Inc. Water enters Hoover Dam ‘s Arizona side channel drum-gate spillway left during the floods.

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Spillway with flip bucket at Burdekin Dam. Other uses of the term “spillway” include bypasses of dams or outlets of channels used during high water, and outlet channels carved through natural dams such as labyritnh. Army Corps of Engineers in examined the feasibility of replacing the dam with labyrinh fixed-weir structure to eliminate the gates entirely. The advantage of a labyrinth over a straight weir is that it increases the discharge capacity for the same channel width by increasing the weir length.

January Civil Engineering Magazine: