Theoretically-Derived Regime River Width

by Pierre Y. Julien, Colorado State Univ, Fort Collins, United States,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Hydraulic Engineering


The governing equations describing the motion of fluid and non-cohesive sediment particles in alluvial channels are combined to analytically determine the equilibrium surface width of natural channels. Secondary currents can explain most of the transversal changes in cross-sectional geometry in bends. In non-cohesive alluvial channels a dimensionless parameter defines the relative stability of channel bank to channel bed. The equations describing the channel width of alluvial channels are tested with a field data set including more than 800 different alluvial rivers in regime around the world. The agreement between theory and observations is excellent over a broad range of channel widths extending from a few centimeters to several kilometers.

Subject Headings: Alluvial channels | Sediment transport | Channel stabilization | River bank stabilization | Equations of motion | Channel flow | River and stream beds

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