Rethinking Flood Control Channel Design

by Philip B. Williams, (M.ASCE), President; Philip Williams and Associates, San Francisco, CA,

Serial Information: Civil Engineering—ASCE, 1990, Vol. 60, Issue 1, Pg. 57-59

Document Type: Feature article


Until recently, the standard method of flood control was channelization—converting a natural stream to a uniform channel cross section. But this single objective approach is coming under increasing scrutiny. Engineers are concerned that traditional designs may not work as intended and fail during floods. What is needed is a multiobjective approach that considers varying flows, changing channel configurations, sediment loads and riprarian characteristics.

Subject Headings: Floods | Hydraulic design | Stream channels | Channel flow | Cross sections | Sediment loads | Load factors | Flow control

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