Two-dimensional open channel flow with a steady and fully developed cavity forming at a step on the bottom of the channel was analyzed according to potential flow theory using a re-entrant-jet model. The effects of gravity and the free water surface were fully considered. Cavity profiles and other flow characteristics were found to be significantly different depending upon whether the flow was subcritical or supercritical with a discontinuity at the critical point. The classic solution for an infinite fluid in a nongravitational field was shown to be the limiting case of the subcritical regime. The theory compares favorably with a limited number of existing data in the supercritical regime.

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