IWA Publishing

Velocity profiles assessment in natural channels during high floods

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The accuracy of three different approaches for velocity profiles assessment during high floods, when the velocity points sampling is carried out only in the upper portion of the flow area, has been investigated. The first two methods assume the classical logarithmic law with additional terms, to take account of the dip-phenomenon in the velocity profile. The third one is based on the entropy theory and uses the maximum flow velocity occurring in the flow area. A sample of velocity measurements carried out at Pontelagoscuro gauged section (Po River, Italy), has been considered for the analysis. Six flood events have been selected and the accuracy of the investigated methods has been evaluated in terms of mean error in estimating both the mean velocity along each sampled vertical and the mean flow velocity. For high floods, the logarithmic law and the entropic approach were found quite accurate; however, the ability of the latter in reproducing the velocity profiles only by sampling the maximum flow velocity has been shown. Therefore, a procedure for velocity measurements based on the entropic approach has been proposed. The procedure allows one to both to shorten remarkably the time of the velocity sampling and to quickly estimate the discharge.

Keywords: entropy, mean flow velocity, streamflow measurements, velocity profile

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