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Subject: stream gradient and flow velocity
From: Eric Schultz <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:[log in to unmask]
Date:Fri, 9 May 1997 10:04:23 +0000

text/plain (38 lines)

Thanks to the many who replied on the back channel to my puzzlement
over a disagreement I had with a student in my fish biology class.

The ruling is virtually unanimous: I'm all wet.  Flow velocity is not
solely, or even predominantly, a function of gradient.
Well-established formulae (especially Manning's formula)  express
velocity as a function of  gradient, hydraulic radius (dependent on
channel depth and width) and bottom roughness.  While low order
streams have high gradient the other two terms tend to retard flows.

I especially appreciated the gentility of the responses.  What seemed
puzzling yesterday is now just about intuitive, yet the respondents
did not write as if this were a trivial matter and I a loutish dolt.
Thanks to the netter who pointed out my careless mis-statement about
the quantification of discharge.

I would be happy to send the responses I got to any who request it.

I have saved
       / ///
 _* )=>=======<<
  )    `  \\
Eric Schultz

web page:

fish class home page:

Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
75 N. Eagleville Rd.
University of Connecticut
Storrs CT 06269-3042
Phone (860) 486-4692
Fax (860) 486-4320

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