Piano key (PK) weirs are used in a variety of flow control structure applications, including spillway crests and open channel diversion structures. However, to the best of authors’ knowledge, structure-specific design guidance for scour mitigation is still needed. To fill this gap of knowledge, a systematic experimental campaign was conducted by testing different configurations of horizontal aprons with a cutoff wall. Protection structures were located at the toe of the PK weir. Namely, experiments were performed at large-scale to assess the effect of three apron lengths on downstream scour hole geometry under different hydraulic conditions. It was observed that a horizontal apron deflects the plunging jets originating from the PK weir, thus significantly reducing scour. Experimental evidence allowed corroboration that significant scour depth reduction occurs for an apron length 1.5 times the weir height, with longer aprons found to provide marginal benefits. Finally, also provided herein are tools to estimate the main scour characteristics and help practitioners in optimizing apron design.
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License
which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited