Dam Release

Here the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers release 13,000 cubic feet per second (~370 cubic meters per second) of water at a dam in Oklahoma. That’s the equivalent of nine-and-a-half shipping containers a second! Releasing that much water at once has created an enormous hydraulic jump, seen on the right side of the animation. Hydraulic jumps are kind of like the shock wave of open channel flow. On the left side of the image, water is moving smoothly and swiftly down the sluiceway. At the center, the incoming water encounters the large, slow-moving mass of water already in the lake. There’s no way for the incoming water to sustain its kinetic energy while discharging into the lake. Instead a hydraulic jump forms, converting the incoming flow’s kinetic energy into potential energy, as seen in the sudden height increase. Some of the energy is also converted to turbulence and dissipated as heat. (Image credit: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers/AP, source; via Gizmodo)

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