Turbulent velocity and suspended sediment concentration measurements in an urban environment of the Brisbane River Flood Plain at Gardens Point on 12-13 January 2011

Brown, Richard J., Chanson, Hubert, McIntosh, Dave, & Madhani, Jai (2011) Turbulent velocity and suspended sediment concentration measurements in an urban environment of the Brisbane River Flood Plain at Gardens Point on 12-13 January 2011. The University of Queensland, Brisbane, QLD.


The flood flow in urbanised areas constitutes a major hazard to the population and infrastructure as seen during the summer 2010-2011 floods in Queensland (Australia). Flood flows in urban environments have been studied relatively recently, although no study considered the impact of turbulence in the flow. During the 12-13 January 2011 flood of the Brisbane River, some turbulence measurements were conducted in an inundated urban environment in Gardens Point Road next to Brisbane's central business district (CBD) at relatively high frequency (50 Hz). The properties of the sediment flood deposits were characterised and the acoustic Doppler velocimeter unit was calibrated to obtain both instantaneous velocity components and suspended sediment concentration in the same sampling volume with the same temporal resolution. While the flow motion in Gardens Point Road was subcritical, the water elevations and velocities fluctuated with a distinctive period between 50 and 80 s. The low frequency fluctuations were linked with some local topographic effects: i.e, some local choke induced by an upstream constriction between stairwells caused some slow oscillations with a period close to the natural sloshing period of the car park. The instantaneous velocity data were analysed using a triple decomposition, and the same triple decomposition was applied to the water depth, velocity flux, suspended sediment concentration and suspended sediment flux data. The velocity fluctuation data showed a large energy component in the slow fluctuation range. For the first two tests at z = 0.35 m, the turbulence data suggested some isotropy. At z = 0.083 m, on the other hand, the findings indicated some flow anisotropy. The suspended sediment concentration (SSC) data presented a general trend with increasing SSC for decreasing water depth. During a test (T4), some long -period oscillations were observed with a period about 18 minutes. The cause of these oscillations remains unknown to the authors. The last test (T5) took place in very shallow waters and high suspended sediment concentrations. It is suggested that the flow in the car park was disconnected from the main channel. Overall the flow conditions at the sampling sites corresponded to a specific momentum between 0.2 to 0.4 m2 which would be near the upper end of the scale for safe evacuation of individuals in flooded areas. But the authors do not believe the evacuation of individuals in Gardens Point Road would have been safe because of the intense water surges and flow turbulence. More generally any criterion for safe evacuation solely based upon the flow velocity, water depth or specific momentum cannot account for the hazards caused by the flow turbulence, water depth fluctuations and water surges.

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ID Code: 44077
Item Type: Report
Refereed: No
Additional URLs:
Keywords: Flood Plain Measurements, 2010, 2011 Queensland, Australia, Urban Environment, Turbulent Velocity Measurements, Triple Decomposition, Brisbane River, Suspended Sediment Concentration SSC, Suspended Sediment Flux, Resonance, Inundated Street
ISBN: 9781742720272
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > ENGINEERING (090000) > CIVIL ENGINEERING (090500)
Divisions: Past > QUT Faculties & Divisions > Faculty of Built Environment and Engineering
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2011 Brown, Chanson, McIntosh and Madhani
Deposited On: 21 Aug 2011 21:46
Last Modified: 13 Jul 2017 18:02

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