In the United States, several thousand stream gages provide what typically is the only source of continuous, long-term streamflow and channel-geometry information for the locations being monitored. In this paper, the geomorphic content of stream-gage information, previous and potential applications of stream-gage information in fluvial geomorphic research and various possible limitations are described. Documented applications include studies of hydraulic geometry, channel bankfull characteristics, sediment transport and channel geomorphic response to various types of disturbance. Potential applications include studies to determine the geomorphic effectiveness of large floods and in-stream habitat change in response to disturbance. For certain applications, various spatial, temporal and data limitations may render the stream-gage information of limited use; however, such information often is of considerable value to enable or enhance geomorphic investigations.
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Geomorphic applications of stream-gage information