Downstream hydraulic geometry relations: 1. Theoretical development

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Abstract

[1] In this study, it is hypothesized that (1) the spatial variation of the stream power of a channel for a given discharge is accomplished by the spatial variation in channel form (flow depth and channel width) and hydraulic variables, including energy slope, flow velocity, and friction, and (2) that the change in stream power is distributed among the changes in flow depth, channel width, flow velocity, slope, and friction, depending on the constraints (boundary conditions) the channel has to satisfy. The second hypothesis is a result of the principles of maximum entropy and minimum energy dissipation or its simplified minimum stream power. These two hypotheses lead to four families of downstream hydraulic geometry relations. The conditions under which these families of relations can occur in field are discussed.

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