Equations for resistance to flow and sediment transport in alluvial channels

Thomas Maddock

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


The commonly accepted parameters for sediment transport and resistance to flow of alluvial channels are evaluated and found to be inadequate. A resistance equation B2= [V/(gDS) ½]{[(s−1)12;/(DS)½}·[(s − 1)gd¼/ω²]and a sediment transport equation C = {103[VS/ϕ(d)]− [(k)s−1)g½d)/ϕ)d)D½] [(s−1)gd¼2] channels, where B is a factor that describes the constraints that limit the response of dependent variables to changes in independent variables, V is the mean velocity, D is the mean depth, S is the energy gradient, g is the acceleration of gravity, s is the specific weight of the sediment, d is the median diameter of the sediment discharge, ω is the fall velocity of a characteristic particle size, ϕ(d) has the dimensions and characteristics of a fall velocity with values found by experiment, and k is a dimensionless velocity distribution parameter. Factor C is the concentration by weight in parts per million of the transported sediment. There is no differentiation between forms of transport. Presently used equations are shown to be approximations of combinations of these two equations. The two equations describe channel behavior and sediment transport better than other equations, and they are shown to be particularly effective in describing the effects of changes of temperature on water discharge.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)11-21
Number of pages11
JournalWater Resources Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 1976

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Water Science and Technology


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