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Hydraulic Design and Application of Labyrinth Spillways. Kathy Frizell. David L. Hinchliff. U.S. Bureau of Reclamation. January WATER. A spillway is a structure used to provide the controlled release of flows from a dam or levee into . A labyrinth spillway and a fish ladder (left) of the Hope Mills Dam in North Carolina. Spillway with flip bucket at Burdekin Dam. Water enters. The capacity of a labyrinth spillway is a function of the total head, the effective crest length, and the crest coefficient. The crest coefficient.

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If the effective length is not entered by the user, it may be calculated from the constituent components, namely. The other beauty of the design is that it could be constructed while, mostly, maintaining normal lake levels.

Forum article Hydraulics of Stepped Spillways: Low-height spillway of Bonneville Dam with sluice gates. Two formulations of the drowning factor are available – the Villemonte formulation, which applies a reduction factor from when the downstream water level exceeds crest level, and the standard ISIS drowning factor, which applies once the downstream to upstream head ratio exceeds the predefined modular limit. The spillway at Monticello Dam, Lake Spiloway, in operation.

Oabyrinth uncontrolled spillway, in contrast, does not have gates; when the water rises above the lip or crest of the spillway it begins to be released from the reservoir.

This design allows nearly the full height of the dam to be used for water storage year-round, and flood waters can be released as required by opening one or more gates. The “Use static head” option may be used to force the weir equation to use static head in preference to total head see above. The energy can be dissipated by addressing one or more parts spillay a spillway’s design.


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The Brazos River plays a vital role in the commerce and appeal of downtown Waco. A bell-mouth spillway [11] is designed like an inverted bell where water can enter around the entire perimeter.

This allows ISIS to calculate an area, and hence velocity, in order lagyrinth calculate the velocity and total heads.

Energy dissipators and hydraulic jump. The rate of discharge is controlled only by the depth of water above the reservoir’s spillway.

A labyrinth weir is spilllway structure designed to convey large flows at low heads by increasing the effective length of the weir crest with respect to the channel breadth. In addition, they are not always intended to dissipate energy like stepped spillways. NB Thickness and apex widths may both be zero; positive values must be entered for the other components.

Much research has been performed into the discharge-head relationships of labyrinth weirs, with those developed by Tullis et al.

First, on the spillway surface itself by a series of steps along the spillway see stepped spillway. Waterway where the dam is located: Look up spillway in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.

Spillway – Wikipedia

Although generally less efficient than other weir types of the same effective length, the available increase in weir length more than compensates for this. The fuse plug concept is used where it would be very costly to build a spillway with capacity for the probable maximum flood. A year recurrence interval is the flood magnitude expected to be exceeded on the average of once in years.


The sudden closure of a spillway gate can result in the stranding of fish, and this is also usually avoided.

Lake Brazos Labyrinth Weir – Waco, Texas – Water Dams on

In an intermediate type, normal level regulation of the reservoir is controlled by spillwya mechanical gates. Therefore, the geometry of the weir needs tweaking to expected conditions. From design through construction, the interested are encouraged to read the referenced papers at bottom for a wealth of fascinating detail — with photos!

Other uses of the term “spillway” include bypasses of dams or outlets of channels used during high water, and outlet channels carved through natural dams such as moraines.

Retrieved from ” https: Texas, United States Date Posted: A controlled spillway has mechanical structures or gates to regulate the rate of flow. Floodgates and fuse plugs may be designed into spillways to regulate water flow and reservoir level. In total, the Lake Brazos Labyrinth Weir has labyrimth segments — technically called “cycles” best design from testing to maintain the FEMA upstream inundation levelsdivided, as noted, into two distinct sections: A chute spillway is a common and basic design which transfers excess water from behind the dam down a smooth decline into the river below.

Spillway gates may operate suddenly without warning, under remote control. In the United Kingdom, they may be known as overflow channels.