Comprehensive hydraulic analysis of sediment retention ponds is commonly achieved through interpretation of residence time distribution and derivation of indices associated with short-circuiting and mixing. However, the availability of various indices indicates the need for careful selection of the most appropriate indices. This study compares some of the commonly used hydraulic performance indices, together with a new short-circuiting index, τ5, for five different flow regimes in a model sediment retention pond. The results show that τ5 was the best measure for short-circuiting. Among the mixing indices, only the Morril index correctly represented the physical behaviour of the experiments. In addition, two hydraulic efficiency indices, λ and a moment index (MI) were assessed and showed a good correlation with the short-circuiting and mixing indices, but MI was more reproducible than λ. Based on these results, this study recommends using τ5, Morril index and MI for analysis of hydraulic performance in sediment retention ponds.

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