Date of Award:

5-2009

Document Type:

Dissertation

Degree Name:

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department:

Civil and Environmental Engineering

Advisor/Chair:

William J Rahmeyer

Abstract

Sedimentation buildup and accumulation can cause serious impediments to the hydraulic capacity of culvert systems. There has not been any significant research to date regarding the behavior of bed load transport nor the implications of bed forms upon the hydraulics associated with culvert flow. The primary objective of this study was to investigate how sediment transport occurs in a culvert and to then develop a methodology and test setup to successfully investigate this sediment transport. The investigation was limited to studying culvert and pipeline transport of alluvial material in sand and gravel sizes.

This dissertation develops a semi-empirical bed load transport equation from existing open channel flow models to be used in predicting sediment yields in culvert applications. Incipient motion and critical shear stresses were investigated for application into eight empirically based models. The methods analyzed include the Meyer-Peter Müller, Engelund and Hansen, Shields, Toffaleti (as seen in the United States Army Corps of Engineers program HEC RAS), Schoklitsch, DuBoy, Yang, and Rottner methods. These methods were tested for predictive accuracy to physically modeled bed load transport data obtained from a 304.8 mm (11.89 in) diameter culvert. Tests involved fully pressurized, partially pressurized inlet controlled, and open channel flow regimes for a variety of bed elevations and bedforms. Bedform regime and associated resistance impacts on flow energy were presented to better understand their hydraulic consequence in culvert applications.

An extensive literature review regarding sediment transport in both open channel and closed conduit applications is provided to develop a foundation of knowledge to pursue further research in this area. This literature review summarizes the current body of scientific knowledge that is applicable to sediment transport in culverts. Investigations into both historical and current works are cited throughout this studies literature review.

A tested methodology is presented for the investigation of sediment bed load transport in culvert applications. Development of a procedure for the testing of critical shear limits and bed load transport is outlined. A detailed application example is provided. Recommended changes in testing techniques and physical model are made for the next generation of culvert sediment transport research.

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