A positive surge is an unsteady open channel flow motion characterized by an increase of flow depth. In previous experimental studies, a positive surge was typically induced by either a sudden increase of discharge in a channel or by the rapid closure of a downstream sluice gate, thus leading to a steep initial profile. However, in many instances, the evolution of a positive surge is of a progressive manner (e.g., in the downstream navigation canal during the emptying operation of lock chambers). In the present work, the inception and development of a positive surge induced by a progressive increase of discharge was investigated in a rectangular channel with a smooth bed. Both undular and breaking surges were studied. The results demonstrate that the maximum wave height at the first wave crest of an undular surge is in very close agreement with the McCowan theory. Additionally, the wave amplitude essentially shows a linearly increasing trend with an increasing surge Froude number up to Fr0
= 1.26 to 1.28, whereas it tends to suggest a power law reduction for larger surge Froude numbers. Moreover, the dispersion of undular surges is consistent with the linear wave theory only for surge Froude numbers close to unity. Overall, the present study demonstrates the unique features of positive surges induced by a progressive increase of discharge.
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