Morphology of Cobble Streams in Small Watersheds

by Ruh-Ming Li, (M.ASCE), Asst. Prof. of Civ. Engrg.; Colorado State Univ., Fort Collins, Colo.,
Michael A. Stevens, Sr. Hydro.; Dames & Moore, Bethesda, Md.,
Daryl B. Simons, (F.ASCE), Assoc. Dean for Engrg. Research and Prof. of Civ. Engrg.; Colorado State Univ., Fort Collins, Colo.,

Serial Information: Journal of the Hydraulics Division, 1976, Vol. 102, Issue 8, Pg. 1101-1117

Document Type: Journal Paper


Stream morphology has been studied by many investigators. Most of the studies have been dependent on the statistical interpretation of observed data, and very limited theoretical work has been done to explain the mechanics of the process. As an extension of the work on stable-channel design, the basic equations describing the physical response of stream morphology have been employed in this study to derive the hydraulic geometry equations of a channel in coarse alluvium. Both downstream and at-a-station relations are developed. These theoretical results agree with the field observations. It is found that the conditions of this theoretical approach are valid in watersheds with homogeneous geology but may be valid only in small watersheds with drainage areas on the order of 10 sq miles.

Subject Headings: Rivers and streams | Watersheds | Hydraulic design | Statistics | Stream channels | Geometrics | Channel stabilization | Alluvial channels

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