A review is made of Ringleb’s theory on snow cornice-like flows and of the published, unsuccessful attempts at experimental verification. Arguments are presented which render the theory an unlikely representation of real fluid flows. The flow over a downstream-facing step in a channel, with either of two types of sinks located immediately downstream of the step, was investigated experimentally. A vortex and associated smooth expansion of the exterior flow behind the step were established for sufficiently high sink rates. A model of the step-sink flow is suggested and found consistent with results presented here and elsewhere.

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