Flow division at a channel crossing with subcritical or supercritical flow

Chi Wai Li, C. Zeng

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


The passage of an extreme storm over an urban area can lead to the flooding of the streets if the rainfall intensity exceeds the design value and/or the drainage system is not functional. The study of flow distribution in street networks thus is important for the design of flood protection measures. The flow distribution is affected by the junction flow characteristics, inflow discharges and downstream water depths. To reduce the degree of empiricism, a 3D Reynolds-averaged Navier-Stokes equations model has been implemented in this study to investigate the flow phenomena in a cross junction. The Spalart- Allmaras model is used for turbulence closure. The numerical model utilizes the split-operator approach, in which the advection, diffusion and pressure propagations are solved separately. The numerical model predicts accurately the flow distribution in a channel crossing under different subcritical flow conditions, for which experimental data are available. Recirculation zones exist at both the downstream channels and the associated contraction coefficient varies linearly with the ratio of the discharges at the two inlets. Secondary currents are apparent for the flow with strong asymmetric outlet conditions. Under supercritical inflow conditions, the model reproduces the hydraulic jump and hydraulic drop phenomena and predicts accurately the relationship between the input power ratio and the outflow discharge ratio of the street crossing.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)56-73
Number of pages18
JournalInternational Journal for Numerical Methods in Fluids
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2010


  • 3D flow model
  • Cross junction
  • Finite difference methods
  • Flow diversion
  • Free surface
  • Hydrodynamics
  • Navier Stokes
  • Open channel
  • Turbulence models
  • Turbulent flow

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computational Mechanics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Applied Mathematics


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