Large-scale water resources systems are often managed by an integrated set of hydraulic structures that are vulnerable to wider ranges of discharge and tailwater elevation than envisioned in their original design due to climate change and additional project objectives such as fostering healthy ecosystems. The present physical model study explored the performance of a spillway structure on the Kissimmee River, operated by the South Florida Water Management District, under extreme conditions of drought and flooding with accompanying low and high tailwater levels for both gate-controlled and uncontrolled spillway flow conditions. Maximum scour depths and their locations for two different riprap apron lengths downstream of the spillway stilling basin were measured along with the complex flow fields prior to scour. Effects of tailwater submergence, type of spillway flow and riprap apron length on scour results are interpreted in terms of the measured turbulent kinetic energy and velocity distributions near the bed.
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