Dear fish netters:
A question arose while I was giving a lecture. This is one of those
'interesting' moments when an undergraduate tells you in class that
he was told something different in another class. My class is fish
biology, and I was giving a lecture in stream fish ecology.
What I taught: that flow velocity in streams is primarily driven by
gradient (rate of drop in elevation) and that low-order streams
USUALLY have a higher flow velocity than high-order streams, because
streams usually come out of mountains and end up on a coastal plain.
What he said: he is also taking a class in stream ecology, and he
said his professor said that the relationship between stream order
and flow velocity is a common misconception. This is because
turbulent flows in low-order streams APPEAR to be faster.
Now at this point I suggested that the difference between what I said
and what he learned in the other class was that I was talking about
flow velocity and he was talking about discharge (velocityXvolume),
but the student maintained that he was referring to velocity.
What do you think? Surely this relationship is well understood?
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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