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The Investigation of Surface Flow using Particle Image Velocimetry


Project Summary

This project investigates how the surface flow profile of a modelled retention pond varies with different discharges via the use of a developed Particle Image Velocimetry (PIV) code. Furthermore the project seeks to establish a relationship between the surface flow behaviour, surface velocity, previously researched Computational Fluid Dynamic (CFD) modelling techniques and calculated Hydraulic Retention Times (HRT’s).

Tracer particles were scattered over the surface of the modelled retention pond and images were taken with a digital SLR camera from a height of 3 m above. Whilst the surface profile could be manually observed in most cases, the images obtained were analysed using the PIV code that was adapted and developed specifically to model the flow of the retention pond under examination.

The PIV results from this project give a clear representation of the surface flow profile at different discharges and furthermore support the previous work conducted on the CFD modelling of the pond. It was observed how the profile changes with increased discharge and the creation of a number of circulations was apparent.

The analysis of the surface velocity however failed to yield definitive results due to a number of factors and as a result only a very general relationship was able to be determined between the surface flow velocity and the pond’s HRT. It was established that the surface flow velocity did, in the most cases, increase with discharge and was seen to correspond to a decreased HRT as would be expected.

PIV Experiment








Lewis Howard


EMAIL: Lewis dot Howard at warwick dot ac dot uk