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Title:Hydraulic geometry of 12 selected stream systems of the United States
Author(s):Stall, John B.; Yang, Chih Ted
Contributor(s):Ben-Zvi, Arie; University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; Illinois State Water Survey
Subject(s):Water resources center
Water resources center--Illinois
Hydrology and hydraulics
Hydraulic geometry
Geographic Coverage:Illinois (state)
Abstract:Channel characteristics of stream systems have been evaluated for 12 river basins in the humid region of the United States. Basins vary in size from 1532 to 8410 square miles, and river slopes from 1.56 to 107 feet per mile. Each basin was selected as having relatively uniform physiography, but the 12 basins represent widely different physiographic sections of the country. Discharge, cross-sectional area, width, depth, and velocity of a stream at a particular location in the stream system are each related to the frequency of occurrence of the discharge, F, in percent of days per year, and the drainage area, Ad, in square miles. The resulting five hydraulic geometry equations represent the characteristic interrelationship of these factors throughout the stream system. The Horton-Strahler laws of channel morphology prove to be valid for these stream systems, regardless of the scale of map used for their determination. Two new laws, the law of average stream fall, and the law of least rate of energy expenditure are introduced. A theoretical longitudinal streambed profile is computed, as well as an equilibrium profile. The latter, when compared with the actual existing streambed profile, indicates future channel aggradation or degradation. Stream velocities calculated from hydraulic geometry equations check with the time-of-travel measured in streams by use of dye tracers. Provisional time-of-travel curves for a 140-mile reach of the Sangamon River are shown. Stream velocity and depth as calculated by hydraulic geometry equations can be used to estimate the total capacity of a stream to assimilate wastes.
Issue Date:1970-07
Publisher:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Water Resources Center
Genre:Report (Grant or Annual)
Sponsor:U.S. Department of the Interior
U.S. Geological Survey
Rights Information:Copyright 1970 held by John B. Stall, Chih Ted Yang
Date Available in IDEALS:2016-05-25

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