Channel-forming flow: representations and variability

Philip J. Soar*, Chester C. Watson, Colin R. Thorne

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


Determining the channel-forming flow is a critical stage in the channel restoration design process. While there are several 'representations' of this flow (the bankfull, recurrence interval and effective discharges), previous research has revealed that they are not necessarily equivalent and further investigation based on a dataset of U.S. meandering sand-bed streams supports further their differentiation under certain conditions. This uncertainty presents a challenge to the channel designer early in the design process. This paper explores the variability between the channel-forming flow representations and provides an explanation based on flow variability to account for some of the differentiation. The paper closes with a discussion of a 'sediment impact assessment' as a closure loop to the design process, in order to better account for the full range of sediment-transporting flows and ensure long term dynamic stability.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationWorld Water and Environmental Resources Congress 2005: Impacts of Global Climate Change
PublisherAmerican Society of Civil Engineers
Number of pages12
ISBN (Print)0784407924, 9780784407929
Publication statusPublished - 15 May 2005
Event2005 World Water and Environmental Resources Congress - Anchorage, AK, United States
Duration: 15 May 200519 May 2005


Conference2005 World Water and Environmental Resources Congress
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityAnchorage, AK


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