Stream Channel Channels may be thought of as a long, narrow trough, shaped by the forces of moving water. Depth: It is measured at any specified point in the stream as the vertical distance from the surface to bed. Width: It is the distance across the stream from one water edge to the other. It may be so narrow that a person can jump across them, or as wide as 1.5km (eg. Mississippi, Changjaing)
Stream Channel Cross sectional area (A): It is the are in square metres or square feet. Wetted perimeter (P): It is the length of the line of contact between the water and the channel. Channel Slope (S): It is the angle between the water surface and the horizontal plane. Eg. 50cm/km: it means the stream surface undergoes a vertical drop 50cm for each 1km of horizontal distance downstream. Eg. 0.03 means the stream drops 3 m for ever 100m of horizontal distance.
Stream Flow Velocity: Gravitational force causes stream flow. Water close to the bed and banks moves slowly that in the deepest and most centrally located zone flows faster. Water will flow faster in a channel of steep gradient than one of low gradient. Mean velocity (V) in streams is commonly equal to about 60% of the maximum velocity. Discharge (Q): It is the volume of water passing through a given cross section of the stream in a given unit of time. (m 3 /s) Q = VA
Stream Flow The optimum channel would be semi-circular shape in cross section. For Q=VA As velocity ‘ V ’ increases, cross-sectional area ‘ A ’ must also decrease. Q = V A (waterfall, rapids, …… ) As cross-section area ‘ A ’ increase, velocity ‘ V ’ must increase. Q = V A (lake, delta, estuary …..)
Hydrograph It shows the variation of discharge with time at a certain location of a river.
Components of hydrograph Discharge: It is the amount of water flow in the river. It varies over times and place to place. Base flow: It is much more constant in amount and the water level is nearly the same. It is discharged from delayed ground water flow in soil during ordinary time. Rainfall: Its intensity is partly responsible for the magnitude of the peak.
Components of hydrograph The peak: It shows the maximum flood level. Rising limb: Its steepness determined by the rate of surface runoff. The higher the peak, shorter the basin lag with the steeper rising limb. Basin lag: It is the time between the heaviest rain and the peak. The lag is determined by the nature of soil moisture, the structure, relief of the basin and the intensity of the rainfall. Recession limb: The rate of passing flood.
Hydrograph It is great use to engineers and hydrologists in planning of irrigation, drainage system, power (HEP) development, water supply and flood forecasting. In many parts of the world, spring is a time of floods for spring rain and snow-melt. Although some rivers flood quite regularly, the recurrence interval varies from basin to basin and varies with the magnitude of the flood.
Shape of hydrographs The variation of the hydrograph shape from basin to basin, which shows the dependence of the discharge on geological and morphological characteristics of a drainage basin. A flash stream has a hydrograph with sharp peak, for high immediate surface runoff, with little absorption and storage of water in the basin.
Fluvial Morphology Measurement of geometrical properties of the land surface of a fluvial erosion system. Basic form of a fluvial erosion landscape. Linear Properties of Stream Channel system Areal Properties of Drainage Basin Relife Properties of the Fluvial System. Measurement Stream Orders Stream Numbers Stream Length Stream Slopes Basin Areas Drainage Density Density and Texture of Topography Drainage patterns
Basic form elements Linear Properties of the stream channel. They are the numbers, lengths and arrangements of sets of line segments. Areal Properties of Drainage Basin It is a two-dimensional properties, includes size and shape. Relief Properties of the Fluvial system. Relative heights of points on surfaces and lines with respect to the horizontal base of reference. It is a vertical dimension, includes gradient of ground surface and stream channel, rate of drop of the runoff and measures of the intensity of the processes of erosion and transportation.
Each fingertip channel is a segment of the first order stream. Two first order streams merge to form second order streams and so forth. The trunk stream of any watershed bears the highest order number of the entire system. First and second order streams usually carry flowing only in wet weather.
Stream orders – Bifurcation Ratio The order of a stream segment is designated by ‘ u ’. The bifurcation ratio (Rb) is defined as
Stream orders – Bifurcation Ratio If the region of uniform climate, rock type, and stage of development, the bifurcation ratio tends to remain constant from one order to the next (3 to 5)
Stream Numbers R.E. Horton: “ The numbers of stream segments of successively lower orders in a given basin tend to form a geometric series, beginning with a single segment of the highest order and increasing according to a constant bifurcation ratio. ” Eg. Bifurcation ratio is 3, the trunk segment is the sixth order, the number of segments will be 1, 3, 9, 27, 81 and 243.
Stream Numbers The formula should be The total numbers of stream segments of the entire drainage basin should be
Stream Length The 1st order stream segments have the shortest length, and the segments become longer as order increases. The mean length of stream segments increases by a length ratio (R1) with each increase in stream order.
Stream Length R.E. Horton: “ The cumulative lengths of stream segments of successive orders tend to form a geometric series beginning with mean length of the 1 st order segments and increasing according to a constant length ratio. ”
Stream Slopes Slope is stated as a ratio. 0.01 is a ration of 1:100. (a drop of 1 metre vertically in 100 metres horizontally). Profile a and profile b have the same slope
Basin Areas Horton: ” The mean basin areas of successive stream orders tend to form a geometric series beginning with mean area of the first-order basins and increasing according to a constant area ratio. ” Usually, the discharge of a stream increases with increasing drainage area.
Drainage Density This is found by measuring the total length of all of the streams within the basin. (km/km 2 ) Drainage density are controlled by several factors, but the most import control factor is infiltration capacity.
Factors affecting infiltration capacity Geology (Rock or soil type) Hard, resistant rocks (granitic rock): low density Weak rocks (shale and clay): high density Permeable rocks or soil (sand): low density Impermeable rocks or soil (clay): high density Topography Steep slope: high density Gentle slope: low density Vegetation Forest: low density Farmland: medium density Badland /desert: high density Climate High rainfall: high density Light rainfall: low density
Drainage patterns Drainage patterns are largely controlled by two factors Slopes of the drainage area Local differences in the resistance of rocks or geological structures (faults ….) http://www.il-st-acad-sci.org/kingdom/geo1005.html
Dendritic Pattern Tree-like, random branching pattern developed in a region of uniform or homogeneous rock.
Rectangular Pattern It is a rectilinear or grid-like pattern developed in a region with strong marked joint systems or faults intersecting at approximately right angles. This pattern is largely controlled by structural weakness.
Trellised Pattern It is a rectilinear stream pattern developed in region of alternate layers of resistant and less resistant rocks which dip in the same direction. The streams join one another at right angles
Radial Pattern A radial pattern of drainage is a stream pattern developed on a structure dome, volcanic cone, uplifted fault block or a conical hill.
Centripetal Pattern It consists of streams drainage from different directions towards the centre of a depression or basin. It is very common in inland drainage system, where streams terminate ina lake at the centre. Streams in intermontane basin or desert basins often develop this pattern.