River Characteristics

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Channel characteristics such as cross profile, wetted perimeter, hydraulic radius, roughness and efficiency change downstream. Describe and explain how channel characteristics change downstream. The channels characteristics such as the cross profile, wetted perimeter, hydraulic radius, roughness and efficiency, change along the course of the river.
The rivers width is a lot wider downstream than it is upstream and is also a lot deeper which would be shown in the cross profile of the river. The cross profile of a river is a slice through the river this then shows exactly how wide and deep the river is and how rough the river bed is depending on if there is boulders or dips. Upstream it is narrow and shallow and further downstream this begins to change to being wide and deep due to the energy from the water causing lateral and vertical erosion. This then has an immediate effect on the wetted perimeter, length of a river channel in contact with the water at a cross section, as the wider and deeper the river channel the more surface area in contact with the water therefore resulting in a larger wetted perimeter. Further upstream nearer the source of the river the wetted perimeter is likely to be small as there is less surface in contact with the water as it is shallow and narrow whereas in the lower course closer to the mouth of the river the wetted perimeter should be a larger number as the river bed and banks will be larger therefore more surface area in contact with the water. The relationship between these two characteristics is shown through the hydraulic radius, the cross sectional area divided by the wetted perimeter. The hydraulic radius links to the efficiency of a river as the higher the hydraulic radius the more efficiency. Downstream the river is more efficient and has a higher hydraulic radius as, as the hydraulic radius increases so does the rate of…...

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