Downstream change of velocity in rivers

American Journal of Science



Because river slope generally decreases in a downstream direction, it is generally supposed that velocity of flow also decreases downstream. Analysis of some of the large number of velocity measurements made at stream-gaging stations demonstrates that mean velocity generally tends to increase downstream. Although there are many reaches in nearly all rivers where mean velocity decreases downstream, the general tendency for conservation or for downstream increase was found in all data studied.

Computations of bed velocity indicate that this parameter also tends to increase downstream.

Near the streambed, shear in the vertical profile of velocity (rate of decrease of velocity with depth) tends to decrease downstream. This down-valley decrease of shear implies decreasing competence downstream.

Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Downstream change of velocity in rivers
Series title American Journal of Science
DOI 10.2475/ajs.251.8.606
Volume 251
Issue 8
Year Published 1953
Language English
Publisher American Journal of Science
Description 19 p.
First page 606
Last page 624