A low stress gravel bed river is a river where the cross-sectional average dimensionless shear stress (??*) rarely exceeds 0.047. That is the case for the Gunnison River below Delta in Western Colorado. The cross-sectional average ??* in the Gunnison River has not exceeded 0.047, except at one cross section during one year, in the 87 years of record. A ??* of 0.047 is the critical ??* in the bed-load equation considered to be most applicable to gravel/cobble bed rivers (the Meyer-Peter, Mueller equation). According to this equation, there has been no bed-material movement in the Gunnison River since 1920; in fact there has been bed-material movement and this movement is biologically important. Bed-material is moved when the ??* is 0.016 or larger. Streamflows that cause a ??* of at least 0.016 maintain the aquatic habitat in a low shear stress river.
Additional publication details
Low shear stress gravel-bed river
B pt 1
New York, NY, United States
Larger Work Title:
Proceedings, Congress of the International Association of Hydraulic Research, IAHR
Proceedings of the 1997 27th Congress of the International Association of Hydraulic Research, IAHR. Part D