Floods in relation to the river channel

Proceedings of the International Association of Hydrological Sciences
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Abstract

Among the rivers studied by us two broad types may be distinguished. Channels in the semi-arid areas scour at high discharges so that the bed lowers nearly as much as the water surface rises. Detailed data on the middle reaches of the Rio Grande in New Mexico during the spring floods of 1948 and 1952 indicate that the bed aggrades to nearly its pre-flood level as the flood recedes. Channel banks may move rapidly by undercutting during periods of scour and levees are liable to failure not from overtopping but by undercutting.

In Connecticut, a sub-humid area, the repetitive processes of scour and fill in the semi-arid region were not demonstrated by the great floods of 1955. In a few reaches fresh sand was deposited over gravel beds subsequently to be removed by lower flows. Boulders four to six feet in diameter were moved in places over undisturbed beds of one-inch gravel. Channel widening occurred primarily in rivers in narrow valleys which confined the flow within the channel. Scour and deposition on flood plains adjacent to the rivers was irregular. Most deposits could be traced to local sources. In general, flood waters modified but did not vastly alter the prevailing configuration of the channel and structure of the flood plain.

Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Floods in relation to the river channel
Series title Proceedings of the International Association of Hydrological Sciences
Year Published 1956
Language English
Publisher International Association of Hydrological Sciences
Description 14 p.
First page 85
Last page 98
Conference Title Symposium Darcy: Floods
Conference Location Dijon, France
Conference Date September 20-26, 1956