This paper summarizes measurements of velocity along three reaches of a small mountain channel with step–pool bedforms. A one‐dimensional electromagnetic current meter was used to record velocity fluctuations at 37 fixed measurement points during five measurement intervals spanning the peak of the annual snowmelt hydrograph. Measurement cross‐sections were located upstream from a bed‐step, at the step lip, downstream from the step, and in a uniform‐gradient run. Data analyses focused on characteristics of velocity profiles, and on correlations between velocity characteristics and the potential control variables bedform type, reach gradient and flow depth. To test the hypothesis that velocity characteristics are related to channel bedform types, ANOVA and ANCOVA tests were performed for the average velocity and coefficient of variation of point velocity data. Results indicate that high frequency velocity variations correlate to some degree with both channel characteristics and discharge. Velocity became more variable as stage increased, particularly at low‐gradient reaches with less variable bed roughness. Velocity profiles suggest that locations immediately downstream from bed‐steps are dominated by wake turbulence from mid‐profile shear layers. Locations immediately upstream from steps, at step lips, and in runs are dominated by bed‐generated turbulence. Adverse pressure gradients upstream and downstream from steps may be enhancing turbulence generation, whereas favourable pressure gradients at steps are suppressing turbulence. The bed‐generated turbulence and skin friction of runs appear to be less effective energy dissipators than the wake‐generated turbulence and form drag of step–pool bedforms. Copyright © 2000 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Earth Surface Processes and Landforms – Wiley
Published: Jan 1, 2000
Keywords: ; ; ;
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