A set of conceptually derived in-bank river discharge-estimating equations (models), based on the Manning and Chezy equations, are calibrated and validated using a database of 1037 discharge measurements in 103 rivers in the United States and New Zealand. The models are compared to a multiple regression model derived from the same data. The comparison demonstrates that in natural rivers, using an exponent on the slope variable of 0.33 rather than the traditional value of 0.5 reduces the variance associated with estimating flow resistance. Mean model uncertainty, assuming a constant value for the conductance coefficient, is less than 5% for a large number of estimates, and 67% of the estimates would be accurate within 50%. The models have potential application where site-specific flow resistance information is not available and can be the basis for (1) a general approach to estimating discharge from remotely sensed hydraulic data, (2) comparison to slope-area discharge estimates, and (3) large-scale river modeling. Copyright 2005 by the American Geophysical Union.
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Comparison of constitutive flow resistance equations based on the Manning and Chezy equations applied to natural rivers