Accurate field data have been collected along the Febbraro River (central Italian Alps) during quasi‐steady, low‐flow conditions to investigate the spatial variations of hydraulic and geomorphologic quantities potentially affecting resistance to flow. Detailed uncertainty analysis and weighted least‐squares fitting of simple power function relationships to field‐derived data are carried out to identify possible interdependencies between observed variables. Mean flow velocity is found to depend on water‐surface slope, bed material particle size, and upstream drainage area, whereas its dependence on hydraulic depth appears less susceptible to quantification. Upstream drainage area is found to explain the variations of hydraulic depth, water‐surface slope, Gauckler–Strickler conductance coefficient, and (although less significantly) flow discharge. Specifically, a highly significant positive dependence of the Gauckler–Strickler conductance coefficient on the upstream drainage area is found to exist, although anomalies in the variations of hydraulic depth and flow discharge are observed along the stream. The combined use of uncertainty analysis, hydraulic equations, and geomorphological relationships allows a possible characterization of resistance to flow along a steep Alpine stream and, perhaps more importantly, provides useful guidelines for future investigative efforts. Copyright © 2006 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Hydrological Processes – Wiley
Published: Nov 30, 2006
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