Coarse Sediment Transport and the Maintenance of Fish Habitat in the Upper Colorado River

by John Pitlick, Univ of Colorado, Boulder, CO, USA,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Hydraulic Engineering


An analysis of the relation between discharge and boundary shear stress is presented for an alluvial reach of the Colorado River near Grand Junction, CO. The analysis indicates that the cobble and gravel bed material is at the threshold for motion at a discharge of about 600 m3/s. This flow is 3.5 times the mean annual discharge. Significant movement of the bed material, corresponding to a shear stress 2 times the critical value, occurs at a discharge of about 1150 m3/s. Flows of this magnitude are equivalent to at least a 5-year flood.

Subject Headings: Shear stress | Sediment transport | Bed materials | Water discharge | Rivers and streams | Stress analysis | Fluid flow | Colorado River

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