Elevation based classification of streams and establishment of regime equations for predicting bankfull channel geometry
MetadataShow full item record
Since past more than hundred years, fluvial geomorphologists all across the globe have been trying to understand the basic phenomena and processes that control the behavioral patterns of streams. A large number of stream classification systems has been proposed till date, but none of them have been accepted universally. Lately, a large amount of efforts have been made to develop bankfull relations for estimating channel geometry that can be employed for stream restoration practices. Focusing on these two objectives, in this study a new stream classification system based on elevation above mean sea level has been developed and later using elevation as one of the independent and nondimensionalising parameters, universal and regional regime equations in dimensionless forms have been developed for predicting channel geometry at bankfull conditions. To accomplish the first objective, 873 field measurement values describing the hydraulic geometry and morphology of streams mainly from Canada, UK and USA were compiled and statistically analyzed. Based on similar mode values of three dimensionless channel variables (aspect ratio, sinuosity and channel slope), several fine elevations ranges were merged to produce the final five elevation ranges. These final five zones formed the basis of the new elevation based classification system and were identified with their unique modal values of dimensionless variables. Performing joint probability distributions on each of these zones, trends in the behavior of channel variables while moving from lowland to upland were observed. For the completion of second objective, 405 data points out of initial 873 points were selected and employed for the development of bankfull relations by using bankfull discharge and watershed variables as the input variables. Regression equations developed for width and depth established bankfull discharge as the only required input variable whereas all other watershed variables were proved out to be relatively insignificant. Channel slope equation did not show any dependence on bankfull discharge and was observed to be influenced only by drainage area and valley slope factors. Later when bankfull discharge was replaced by annual average rainfall as the new input variable, watershed parameters (drainage area, forest cover, urban cover etc.) became significant in bankfull width and depth regression equations. This suggested that bankfull discharge in itself encompasses the effects of all the watershed variables and associated processes and thus is sufficient for estimating channel dimensions. Indeed, bankfull discharge based regression equation demonstrated its strong dependence on watershed and rainfall variables.
- Masters Theses