Figure 4. Rectangular stepped spillway with (a) three baffle arrangement (b) five baffle arrangement

Saurabh Pujari*
, Vijay Kaushik, S. Anbu Kumar
Department of Civil Engineering, Delhi Technological University, India
Received February 23, 2023; Revised April 25, 2023; Accepted June 11, 2023
Cite This Paper in the Following Citation Styles
(a): [1] Saurabh Pujari, Vijay Kaushik, S. Anbu Kumar , “Prediction of Energy Dissipation over Stepped Spillway with
Baffles Using Machine Learning Techniques,” Civil Engineering and Architecture, Vol. 11, No. 5, pp. 2377 – 2391, 2023.
DOI: 10.13189/cea.2023.110510.
(b): Saurabh Pujari, Vijay Kaushik, S. Anbu Kumar (2023). Prediction of Energy Dissipation over Stepped Spillway with
Baffles Using Machine Learning Techniques. Civil Engineering and Architecture, 11(5), 2377 – 2391. DOI:
Copyright©2023 by authors, all rights reserved. Authors agree that this article remains permanently open access under
the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License 4.0 International License


In river engineering, the stepped spillway of a dam is an important component that may be used in various ways. It is necessary to conduct research dealing with flood control in order to investigate the method, in which energy is lost along the tiered spillways. In the past, several research projects on stepped spillways without baffles have been carried out utilizing a range of research approaches. In the present study, machine learning techniques such as Support Vector Machine (SVM) and Regression Tree (RT) are used to analyze the energy dissipation on rectangular stepped spillways that make use of baffles in a variety of configurations and at a range of channel slopes. The results of many experiments indicate that the amount of energy that is lost increases with the number of baffles that are present in flat channels with slopes and rises. In order to evaluate the efficiency and usefulness of the suggested model, the statistical indices that were developed for the experimental research are used to validate the models that were created for the study. The findings indicate that the suggested SVM model properly predicted the amount of energy that was dissipated when contrasted with RT and the method that had been developed in the past. This study verifies the use of machine learning techniques in this industry, and it is unique in that it anticipates energy dissipation along stepped spillways utilizing baffle designs. In addition, this work validates the use of machine learning methods in this field.


Rectangular Stepped Spillways, Baffle Arrangements, Channel Slope, Support Vector Machine (SVM), Regression Tree (RT)


To regulate water flows downstream of a dam, a spillway structure is employed, with stepped spillways preventing water from overflowing and causing damage to the dam. These spillways consist of a channel with built-in steps or drops. Flow patterns observed include nappe flow, transition flow, and skimming flow [1]. Numerous scholars have looked at the energy dissipation in stepped spillways [2-4]. Boes and Hager [5] looked at the benefits of stepped spillways, such as their simplicity of construction, less danger of cavitation, and smaller stilling basins at downstream dam toes owing to considerable energy loss along the chute. Hazzab and Chafic [7] conducted an experimental study on energy dissipation in stepped spillways and reported on flow configurations. Additionally, the Manksvill dam spillway was examined using a 1:25 scale physical wooden model [6]. For moderately inclined stepped channels, Stefan and Chanson [8] explored air-water flow measurements. Daniel [9] discussed how the existence of steps and step heights affect stepped spillways’ ability to dissipate energy. A comparison of the smooth invert chute flow with the self aerated stepped spillway. The energy dissipation in stepped spillways was investigated using various methods. Katourany [10] compared experimental findings to conventional USBR outcomes to examine the effects of different baffle widths, spacing between baffle rows, and step heights of baffled aprons. Salmasi et al. [11] assessed the energy dissipation of through-flow and over-flow in gabion stepped spillways, discovering that gabion spillways with pervious surfaces dissipated energy more efficiently than those with concrete walls. Other forms of stepped spillways, such as inclined steps and steps with end sills, were also quantitatively studied for energy dissipation [12]. Saedi and Asareh [13] examined how the number of drop stairs affected energy dissipation in stepped drops and suggested using stepped drops to increase energy dissipation by providing flow path roughness. Al-Husseini [14] found that decreasing the number of steps and downstream slopes led to an increase in flow energy dissipation, and that the use of cascade spillways reduced energy dissipation compared to the original step spillway. MARS and ANN methods were used to estimate energy dissipation in flow across stepped spillways under skimming flow conditions, with both models proving reliable [15]. Frederic et al. [16] evaluated the energy dissipation effectiveness and stability of the Mekin Dam spillway by confirming that flow did not result in transitional flow and by calculating safety factors at various intervals. A numerical model was developed to validate a physical model examining the impact of geometrical parameters on the dissipation rate in flows through stepped spillways [17]. The regulation of the rates of dissipation is studied using a particular kind of fuzzy inference system (FIS). The findings are compared with a predefined numerical database to determine the predicted energy dissipation under various circumstances. The findings show that the suggested FIS may be a useful tool for the operational management of dissipator structures while taking various geometric characteristics into account. Nasralla [18] studied the four phases of the spillway and conducted eighteen runs to enhance energy dissipation through the contraction-stepped spillway. The study considered alternative baffle placements, heights, and widths. The results showed that downstream baffles on the stepped spillway of the stilling basin improve energy dissipation. Using the Flow 3D software, Ikinciogullari [19] quantitatively analyzed the energy dissipation capabilities of trapezoidal stepped spillways using four distinct models and three different discharges. The findings showed that trapezoidal stepped spillways are up to 30% more efficient in dissipating energy than traditional stepped spillways. In previous works, only a few machine learning algorithms were used to forecast energy dissipation across a rectangular stepped spillway without baffles. Therefore, this study used machine learning approaches such as Support Vector Machine (SVM) and Regression Tree (RT) to predict energy dissipation across a rectangular stepped spillway with varied rectangular-shaped baffle configurations at different channel slopes. The study compared these models using statistical analysis to assess their efficiency in predicting energy dissipation over rectangular stepped spillways with baffles. 2. Materials and Methods 2.1. Experimental Setup The experiments were carried out at the Hydraulics laboratory of Delhi Technological University. The tests were performed in a rectangular tilting flume of 8m long, 0.30m wide and 0.40m deep which has a facility to make it horizontal and sloping as well (shown in Figure 1). The flume consists of an inlet section, an outlet section, and a collecting tank at the downstream end which is used to measure the discharge. Figure 2 depicts the model of a rectangular stepped spillway prepared using an acrylic sheet having a width of 0.30m, a height of 0.20m and a base length of 0.40m. A total of four steps were designed with a step height of 0.05m, the step length is 0.10m and rectangular-shaped baffles of length 0.10m and height of 0.05m were arranged in different manner. Figure 3 represents the different baffle arrangements used in the experimental work. At first, the experiment was conducted for no baffle condition. Thereafter the experiment was conducted for the first arrangement of three baffles, in which two baffles were placed at a distance of 0.10m from the toe of the spillway and a distance of 0.10m was maintained between the first two baffles and the third baffle was placed between the first two baffles at a distance of 0.20m from the toe of the spillway (figure 4a). After that, the experiment was conducted for the third arrangement of baffles which consists of five baffles, two more baffles were introduced at a distance of 0.30m from the toe of the spillway and a distance of 0.10m was maintained between them (figure 4b). The baffles used in the experiment were rectangular shaped which had a height of 0.05m and length of 0.10m. The experiments were conducted for five different discharges 2 l/s, 4 l/s, 6 l/s, 8 l/s and 10 l/s. For the purpose of determining the head values both upstream and downstream of the spillway model, a point gauge with a precision of 0.1mm was used. In order to determine the average velocities of the upstream and downstream portions, respectively, a pitot static tube was used in conjunction with a digital manometer.

Figure 1. Rectangular tilting flume
Figure 2. Dimensions of classical stepped spillway
Figure 3. Arrangements of baffles in classical stepped spillway
Figure 4. Rectangular stepped spillway with (a) three baffle arrangement (b) five baffle arrangement