Mathematical Model of Barge Tow Performance

by Charles W. Howe,

Serial Information: Journal of the Waterways and Harbors Division, 1967, Vol. 93, Issue 4, Pg. 153-166

Document Type: Journal Paper


A mathematical model for predicting tow operating speeds is derived from test data and engineering principles. Land speed is expressed as a function of flotilla length, breadth, and draft, towboat horsepower, channel width, depth, and river current. The resistance function used is compared with those used by Langbein and Rouse. The speed predictions of the model are compared with actual average speeds of tows operating on the Ohio, Illinois, and Mississippi Rivers under a variety of operating conditions. The model proves a statistically significant representation of tow performance when adjusted by data from the area for which predictions are to be made.

Subject Headings: Mathematics | Barges | Mathematical models | Field tests | Computing in civil engineering | Load and resistance factor design | Hydrologic models | Rivers and streams | United States | Ohio | Illinois | Mississippi River

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