Channel Slope Effect on Peak Discharge of Natural Streams

by Charles L. Armentrout, (M.ASCE), Res. Engr.; Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission, Hyattsville, MD,
Robert B. Bissell, (M.ASCE), Vice Pres.; Greenhorne & O'Mara, Consulting Engrs., Riverdale, MD,

Serial Information: Journal of the Hydraulics Division, 1970, Vol. 96, Issue 2, Pg. 307-315

Document Type: Journal Paper


The Channel Slope Method provides a reasonable approach to the apparent need for a reasonable method of computing peak runoff rates for natural streams. Stream runoff data from the U.S. Geological Survey were correlated with the slope of the stream channel. The data were plotted on logarithmic paper with stream channel slope in ft/mi as abscissa and unit runoff in cu ft/sec/acre as ordinate. A straight line envelopes all the plotted points and gives the equation of the unit runoff for a particular recurrence interval. The designer who must determine waterway openings for bridges or culverts or design flows for flood plains, can obtain a conservative answer to the peak discharge for a given recurrence interval by this method.

Subject Headings: Runoff | Bridge design | Slopes | Water discharge | Stream channels | Hydrologic data | Hydraulic design | Rivers and streams

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