The effects of hydraulic jumps instability on a Natural river confluence: The case study of the Chiaravagna River (Italy)

Annalisa De Leo, Alessia Ruffini, Matteo Postacchini, Marco Colombini, Alessandro Stocchino

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


The occurrence and the effects of hydraulic jump instabilities on a natural river confluence in a small river basin in Liguria (Italy) is here investigated. Hydraulic jump instability has been extensively studied in controlled and simplified laboratory rectangular flumes. In the present study, a scaled physical model of the Chiaravagna River and Ruscarolo Creek confluence has been used, retaining the realistic geometry of the reaches. This reach has been subject to frequent floods in the last twenty years and the entire area of the confluence has been redesigned to decrease the flood risk. A series of experiments has been performed varying the discharge on the two reaches and the geometrical configurations. Free surface levels and two dimensional horizontal velocities have been measured in several positions along the physical model. The analysis of the water levels and velocities reveals that oscillations characterised by large amplitude and low frequency occur under particular hydraulic conditions. These oscillations have been found to be triggered by the hydraulic jump toe instability of the smallest reach of the confluence. Aiming at reducing the amplitude of the oscillations, which can be of the order of the flow depth, possible constructive solutions have been tested to control or damp the oscillations. Indeed, the insertion of a longitudinal dyke at the confluence has proven to be an effective solution to limit the amplitude of the transversal oscillations.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2027
JournalWater (Switzerland)
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • Flood risk
  • Hydraulic toe jump instability
  • River confluence

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Aquatic Science
  • Water Science and Technology


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