Birth of a hydraulic jump

Alexis Duchesne
IIEMN, AIMAN-FILMS, UMR CNRS 8520, Cité Scientifique, Avenue Poincaré, 59652 VILLENEUVE D’ASCQ CEDEX, France

Alexis Duchesne, Tomas Bohr and Anders Andersen

The hydraulic jump, i.e., the sharp transition between a supercritical and a subcritical free-surface flow, has been extensively studied. However, an important question has been left unanswered: How does a hydraulic jump form? We present here an experimental and theoretical study of the formation of stationary hydraulic jumps in centimeter-sized channels.

We start with an empty channel and then change the flow rate abruptly from zero to a constant value. This leads to the formation of a stationary hydraulic jump in a two stage process. Firstly, the channel fills quickly ($\sim 1$ s). Initially the liquid layer shows a linearly increasing height profile and a front position with a square root dependence on time. When the height of the liquid front reaches a critical value, it remains constant throughout the rest of the filling process. At low flow rate the jump forms during the filling of the channel whereas the jump appears at a later stage when the flow rate is high. Secondly, the influence of the downstream boundary condition makes the jump move slowly ($\sim 10$ s) upstream to its final position with exponentially decreasing speed.