Relations between sediment concentration (C) and water discharge (Q) for a hydrologic event, such as a flood, are studied qualitatively by analyzing "smoothed" temporal graphs (discharge and concentration vs. time) in terms of mode, spread, and skewness. Comparing C Q ratios at a given discharge on the rising and falling limbs of the discharge hydrograph provides a consistent, reliable method for categorizing C-Q relations. Five common classes of such relations are single-valued (straight or curved), clockwise loop, counterclockwise loop, single-valued plus a loop, and figure eight. Temporal-graph mode and skewness influence the type of relation, whereas temporal-graph spread affects the details of the particular C-Q relation (its graphical breadth, shape, orientation, and plotted location). Field examples of the various types of relations are given, including varieties that heretofore have received little attention, such as the figure eight. Explanations for each type of C-Q relation are discussed. ?? 1989.
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Sediment concentration versus water discharge during single hydrologic events in rivers