Waves Generated by Recreational Traffic on the Upper Mississippi River Systemby Nani G. Bhowmik, Illinois State Water Survey, Champaign, United States,
Ta Wei Soong, Illinois State Water Survey, Champaign, United States,
Walter Reichelt, Illinois State Water Survey, Champaign, United States,
William C. Bogner, Illinois State Water Survey, Champaign, United States,
Abstract: Vessels of all sizes, from canoes to 15-barge tows, share the Upper Mississippi River System (UMRS), and every vessel interacts with the river by means of its displacement, propulsion, and maneuvering. Barge tows cause moderate wave action, but this results in drawdown and return flow velocites, while large waves and high turbulence are caused by their propulsion systems. Small power boats tend to be fast and generate substantial wave trains, but their propellor jets are small. Larger cabin cruisers and towboats without barge convoys, generate the largest wave trains on the river, and propulsion wakes are proportional to their power. Up until now, very few research studies have been conducted in the specific area of waves generated by recreational traffic on the inland waterways of the nation. Recently a fairly comprehensive investigation was conducted to determine the character and nature of waves generated by recreational boats on the Illinois and Mississippi Rivers. In this project, recreational boats of various sizes, shapes, and propulsions were used to conduct a series of controlled experiments in which the amplitudes, duration, and other wave-related parameters were recorded by a pair of electronic wave gages. Speeds and distances traveled by the recreational boats were varied to determine the characteristics of the waves generated by this type of river traffic. Then a series of wave data was collected for uncontrolled recreational boat movement from a reach of the Mississippi River. Analyses of these data have shown that mathematical regression-type relationships can be developed to predict the wave heights generated by recreational traffic on a typical waterway. Once verified, these relationships can be used for similar waterways in the country.
Subject Headings: Wave generation | Water-based recreation | Water transportation | Small craft | River systems | Rivers and streams | Water waves | Wave velocity | Traffic analysis | Mississippi River | North America | Illinois | United States
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