Channel cross-section geometry affects basin response



In river networks the shape of a cross section affects streamflow characteristics. Mejia and Reed developed an analytical framework to study the role of channel and floodplain cross-section geometry in basin-scale hydrologic response. They applied their analysis to a case study using data for the Illinois River basin. The researchers found that the form of the cross section can have a major influence on basin response and that cross-section geometry plays different roles depending on whether flows are in a channel or a floodplain. The framework could be useful for incorporating channel and floodplain geometry into hydrologic models. (Water Resources Research, doi:10.1029/2010WR010375, 2011)