Prediction of Mixing Lengths for River Flow Gaging

by Peter R. B. Ward, (A.M.ASCE), Asst. Prof. of Civ. Engrg.; Univ. of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, Canada,

Serial Information: Journal of the Hydraulics Division, 1973, Vol. 99, Issue 7, Pg. 1069-1081

Document Type: Journal Paper


An analytical solution of the diffusion equation is used to determine criteria for use in river flow gaging by the dilution method. The method advanced in this paper allows the mixing length to be predicted from the channel geometry. The mixing length is the distance required for tracer from a point injection to become mixed across the cross section. The mixing length is shown to depend mainly upon the ratio (breadth of channel)²/mean depth. A comparison is made between the mixing length calculated by this method and the injection point to sampling point distances in successful flow gagings by various workers.

Subject Headings: Streamflow | Stream gauge | River flow | Diffusion | Dilution | Geometrics | Probe instruments | Cross sections

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