Laboratory Study of Bendway Weirs as a Bank Erosion Countermeasure

Bendway weirs are linear structures similar to spurs but designed to be overtopped by typical streamflows, and have recently attracted attention as an environmentally sensitive means of protecting the outer banks of stream bends. A laboratory study was conducted to examine the effectiveness of these type of structures, constructed following FHWA (U.S. Federal Highway Administration) design-manual guidelines, in protecting the outer bank of a 90° bend in a narrow channel with both erodible bed and banks. Experiments were performed at a single nominal (initial) depth, and so characterized by a single (initial) ratio of radius of curvature to top width of 3.3, with and without a field of five weirs. Measurements of erodible boundary elevations as well as the magnitudes of the time-averaged point horizontal velocities at various cross sections were taken. Although a definite overall deflective effect by the weirs was observed, the outer bank remained susceptible to significant erosion even in the presence of weirs. Effects of increased velocities and increased weir heights, with other conditions held constant, were also examined. For the weir-channel configuration and flow conditions studied, increased velocities tended to be associated with increased rates of erosion, while higher (relative to the depth) weirs gave some added local protection, but could also result in increased overall erosion at certain channel sections.


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  • Accession Number: 01600371
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS, ASCE
  • Created Date: May 17 2016 5:01PM