American Society of Civil Engineers

Downstream Hydraulic Geometry of Clay-Dominated Cohesive Bed Rivers

by Miressa Ebisa Fola, (corresponding author), (Water Resources Engineer, Morrison Hershfield Ltd., Suite 200, 17303–102 Ave., Edmonton AB, Canada T5S 1J8 E-mail: and Colin D. Rennie, M.ASCE, (Associate Professor, Dept. of Civil Engineering, Univ. of Ottawa, CBY A306, 161 Louis Pasteur, Ottawa ON, Canada K1N 6N5. E-mail:

Journal of Hydraulic Engineering, Vol. 136, No. 8, August 2010, pp. 524-527, (doi:

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Document type: Technical Note
Abstract: Empirical downstream hydraulic geometry equations for consolidated clay-dominated cohesive bed (nonalluvial) natural streams are presented using data from six rivers in eastern Ontario, Canada and four rivers from other regions. The width exponent (0.57) was comparable to the exponents reported for previous studies; however, the depth exponent (0.52) was greater for clay-dominated cohesive bed than for typical alluvial gravel-bed and sand-bed rivers. The width to depth ratio of smaller channels (Qbf<20 m3/s) was greater for consolidated clay bed than for either sand-bed or gravel-bed channels. This study suggests that the concept of hydraulic geometry and bankfull (channel forming) discharge can be extended to nonalluvial consolidated clay-bed channels.

ASCE Subject Headings:
River beds
River flow
Fluvial hydraulics

Author Keywords:
River beds
River flow
Channel design
Fluvial Hydraulics