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Many open-channel turbulent flow studies have been focused on highly constrained conditions. Thus, it is rather conventional to note such flows as being fully developed, fully turbulent, and unaffected by sidewalls and free surface disturbances. However, many real-life flow phenomena in natural water bodies and artificially installed drain channels are not as ideal. This work is aimed at studying some of these unconstrained conditions. This is achieved by using particle image velocimetry measurements of a developing turbulent open-channel flow over a smooth wall. The tested flow effects are low values of the Reynolds number based on the momentum thickness Reθ (ranging from 165 to 930), low aspect ratio AR (ranging from 1.1 to 1.5), and Froude number Fr (ranging from 0.1 to 0.8). The results show that the mean flow has an inner region with a logarithmic layer with a von Kármán constant of 0.40–0.41, and a log law constant ranging from 5.0 to 6.0. The friction velocity and coefficient of skin friction are predictable using the formulations of Fr and Reθ presented in this work. The outer region is also characterized by a dip location, which is predictable using an equation associated with Reθ . The higher-order turbulence statistics, on the other hand, show distinguishing traits, such as correlation coefficients ranging from −0.1 to 0.5. Overall, this work demonstrates that for the unconstrained conditions studied, friction evaluations associated with Reynolds shear stress and some notable turbulence modelling functions used in conventional open-channel flows are inapplicable.







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Mechanical Engineering