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Hydraulics Lab: 2007-2008

La Cueva Curve Water Intake Modeling


Full modeling report


The La Cueva arroyo runs east to west, just north of Alameda Blvd., in northeast Albuquerque. A series of projects have been completed to try to find the best technology to improve storm water quality where the La Cueva arroyo meets the North Diversion Channel.  A series of baffle and weir structures have been designed to remove debris from more frequent flows and to remove the first flush from from larger events.  A series of four pipes will remove approximately 1700 cfs of flow out of the trapezoidal channel having a capacity of 4800 cfs.  Flow will be diverted into storm water quality facilities and then the treated water will be discharged back into the North Diversion Channel.

The La Cueva arroyo is located in northeast Albuquerque directly south of the Balloon Fiesta Park (pictured below).


Grade outlets, whether on pipes or box culverts, remove flow effectively from a curved channel when assisted with a longitudinal vane. Any acceleration of flow in a supercritical channel can result in an undesirable rooster tail effect. This effect can be avoided by minimizing acceleration of flow. In particular, if a longitudinal vane contracts the flow too quickly, a rooster tail effect can occur. Similarly, a channel bottom drop accelerates the flow. In the case of the modeled drop, the rooster tail effect is enhanced by both the drop and change in flow direction. A stilling basin design (similar to that on the North Pino) is more effective in that the hydraulic jump takes place across the channel. As designed in these model studies, the box culvert capacity is controlled by the capacity of the box channel. In the model, the box was placed on the same slope as the main channel. The actual slope of the box is unknown at this time and will be determined by the designer.


Flow rate 1,225 cfs


A short, tapered vane downstream of an at grade box culvert is expected to work very well in the La Cueva channel.  The upstream end of the vane should be designed with the maintenance trucks in mind.  The downstream end of th vane should end at least two feet below the top of the channel.  The vane, as modeled, was at a 32 degree angle from the straight line of the upstream channel.  The at-grade box culverts were modeled at 33 and 44 degrees from a tangent of the curve.



Turf Buoyancy Test


Full modeling report


Exploring the use of artificial turf in a detention pond


The Albuquerque Metropolitan Arroyo Flood Control Authority (AMAFCA) constructs and maintains detention ponds throughout the Albuquerque area.  In some instances, these detention ponds can serve multiple purposes.  For example, Mariposa Dention Basin is also a City of Albuquerque park with soccer fields, base fields, playgrounds, etc.; while Arroyo del Oso and Ladera are golf courses that serve as detention ponds. 

Artificial turf is growing in popularity in arid and semi-arid regions as demands on water resources increase.  The purpose of this study is to determine whether using artificial turf is a viable alternative for playing fields that are located in detention ponds.


Although artificial turf makes for water savings in arid and semi-arid environments, it is in these same environments that increased temperatures would be a concern for young athletes.  Finally, the artificial turf is not recommended for multi-use facilities where playing fields are located in detention ponds.