Date of Award:


Document Type:


Degree Name:

Master of Science (MS)


Civil and Environmental Engineering

Committee Chair(s)

Blake P. Tullis (Committee Chair), Zac Sharp (Committee Co-Chair)


Blake P. Tullis


Zac Sharp


Som Dutta


Our world is dynamic and as hydrologic research continues, the magnitude of flood estimates used in hydraulic design for reservoirs has increased. Consequently, many existing spillways are now undersized and unable to meet discharge requirements. These spillways often have a fixed footprint, so nonlinear weirs (e.g., labyrinth weirs) are often a viable solution. For reservoir applications, arcing labyrinth weirs in plan view increases hydraulic efficiency because of better cycle orientation to the approaching flow from the reservoir. This study supplements available physical arced labyrinth weir hydraulic data by observing flow characteristics of two numerical models (α=16°; θ=10° and α=20°; θ=30°). Both numerical models were developed using two commercially available CFD software. The purpose of the CFD analysis was to assess the appropriateness of default settings in a CFD model and to better understand CFD as a design tool for arced labyrinth weir rating curve development. Results determined that default settings are not always appropriate for a rating curve. For arced labyrinth weirs, CFD can be a useful tool for implementing site-specific conditions; however, CFD models should be calibrated to reliable laboratory or field data. This study’s data may be used, with sound engineering judgement, to aid in the design of arced labyrinth weirs.