Date of Award:


Document Type:


Degree Name:

Master of Science (MS)


Civil and Environmental Engineering

Committee Chair(s)

Blake P. Tullis


Blake P. Tullis


Brian M. Crookston


Austin Ball


There are many considerations involved in the design of a dam structure. A few of these include minimizing upstream flooding (and risk of embankment overtopping), economical construction, and downstream erosion. Addressing these concerns has, in part, led to a recent increase in the use of more efficient and economical hydraulic. Complex hydraulic structures such as labyrinth weirs and stepped chutes require extensive study to establish design methods. Combining two complex structures can result in dramatic changes in flow characteristics. This is particularly true in the case of combining a labyrinth weir with a stepped chute. Flow from the labyrinth weir deviates significantly from the relatively uniform flow assumed in current design methods. A potential issue with this deviation is an underprediction in the flow depth experienced on the stepped chute. This study was undertaken with the hope of understanding the flow conditions experienced by coupling a labyrinth weir with a stepped chute. A labyrinth weir was installed upstream of a relatively steep stepped chute. Preliminary testing found that the flow depths experienced on the stepped chute were significantly greater than expected, even at low flows. To help decrease the maximum flow depth on the stepped chute, sloping ramped floors were installed into the downstream cycle of the labyrinth weir. It was observed that increasing the ramp heights (p) resulted in both a reduction in the weir efficiency and the stepped chute flow depth by ~13-15% depending on p.