Hydraulic Exponents

by Ven Te Chow, (F.ASCE), Prof. of Civ. and Hydrosystems Engrg.; Univ. of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, Ill. 61801,

Serial Information: Journal of the Hydraulics Division, 1981, Vol. 107, Issue 11, Pg. 1489-1499

Document Type: Journal Paper


Hydraulic exponents are the parameters M and N in the mathematical relations for open-channel flows as expressed in Z²=CyM and K²=CyN, in which Z = the section factor for critical-flow computation; K = the conveyance of the channel flow cross section; y = the flow depth; and C = a coefficient. This paper clarifies the mathmatical derivation of the hydraulic exponents and their implication in application to the computation of flow profiles of gradually varied flow in a prismatic channel. The relationships between these hydraulic exponents, which are assumed to depend only on the average flow depth, and those, which are assumed to vary with the flow depth of a given range, are also explained.

Subject Headings: Critical flow | Open channel flow | Hydraulics | Computing in civil engineering | Flow profiles | Gradually varied flow | Parameters (statistics) | Open channels

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