Vertical velocity profiles measured over various bed configurations (plane beds, ripples, and dunes) in. the meandering River South Esk, Glen Clova, Scotland are presented on semilogarithmic paper. Local bed shear stress and roughness height are calculated from the lowermost parts of the profiles using the Karman-Prandtl law of the wall; these parameters, and the geometrical properties of the profiles, are related to the various bed configurations. A graphical model is used to identify profiles developed on specific regions of dune geometry, in order to discriminate those profiles that define bed shear effective in transporting sediment over dunes. An assessment is made of the errors involved in estimating local mean velocity from extrapolating the law of the wall to the water surface. A Darcy-Weisbach friction coefficient is related to bed configuration and local stream power.