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with the attainment of the highest level at other points, and that the rise of a river in flood is very different in different parts of its course. In temperate regions, the floods of rivers seldom rise more than 20 ft. above low-water level, but in the tropics the rise of floods is greater.

3. Highest Navigable Level.-When the river rises above a certain level, navigation becomes difficult from the increase of the velocity of the current, or from submersion of the tow paths, or from the headway under bridges becoming insufficient. Ordinarily the highest navigable level may be taken to be that at which the river begins to overflow its banks.

§ 1 30. Retailer Value of Dijferent JL! aterials for Submerged Works.-That the power of water to remove and transport different materials depends on their density has an important bearing on the selection of materials for submerged works. Ill many cases, as in the aprons or flooring's beneath bridges, or in front of locks or falls, and in the formation of training walls and breakwaters by pierres perdus, which have to resist a violent current, the materials of which the structures are composed should be of such a size and weight as to be able individually to resist the scouring action of the water. The heaviest materials will therefore be the best; and the different value of materials in this respect will appear much more striking, if it is remembered that all materials lose part of their weight in water. A block whose volume is V cubic feet, and whose density in air is rp Q per cubic foot, weighs in air 'wV lb, but in water only (w-62-41) Weight of a Cub. Ft. in lb.

In Air. In Water.

Basalt . . 187-3 124-9

Brick .. .. 130-0 67-6

Brickwork .... 1 12-0 49-6

Granite and limestone 170-0 107-6

Sandstone . . 144-0 81-6

Masonry .... II6-144 | 53-6-81-6

§ 131. Inundalion Deposits from a River.-/Vhen a river carrying silt periodically overflows its banks, it deposits silt over the area flooded, and gradually raises the surface of the country. The silt is deposited in greatest abundance where the water first leaves the river. It hence results that the section of the country assumes a peculiar form, the river flowing in a trough along the crest of a ridge, from which the land slopes downwards on both sides. The silt deposited from the water forms two wedges, having their thick ends towards the river (fig. 133).

/~@” 0 Q? n%w,

Fig. 133.

This is strikingly the case with the Mississippi, and that river is now kept from flooding immense areas by artificial embankments or levees. In India, the term deltaic segment is sometimes applied to that portion of a river running through deposits formed by inundation, and having this characteristic section. The irrigation of the country in this case is very easy; a comparatively slight raising of the river surface by a weir or annicut gives a command of level which permits the water to be conveyed to any part of the district. § 132. Dallas.-The name delta was originally given to the Ashaped portion of Lower Egypt, included between seven branches of the Nile. It is now given to the whole of the alluvial tracts round river mouths formed by deposition of sediment from the river, where its velocity is checked on its entrance to the sea. The characteristic feature of these alluvial deltas is that the river traverses them, not in a single channel, but in two or many bifurcating branches. Each branch has a tract of the delta under its influence, and gradually raises the surface of that tract, and extends it seaward. As the delta extends itself seaward, the conditions of discharge through the different brancl1es change. The water finds the passage through one of the branches less obstructed than through the others; the velocity and scouring action in that branch are increased; in the others they diminish. The one channel gradually absorbs the whole of the water supply, while the other branches silt up. But as the mouth of the new main channel extends seaward the resistance increases both from the greater length of the channel and the formation of shoals at its mouth, and the river tends to form new bifurcations AC or AD (fig. 134), and one of these may in time become the main channel of the river.

§ 133. Field Operations preliminary to a Study of River Improvement.-There are required (1) a plan of the river, on which the positions of lines of levelling and cross sections are marked; (2) a longitudinal section and numerous cross sections of the river; (3) a series of gaugings of the discharge at different points and in different conditions of the river.-Longitudinal Section.-This requires to be carried out with great accuracy. A line of stakes is planted, following the sinuosities of the 1


river, and chained and levelled. The cross sections are referred to the line of stakes, both as to position and direction. The determination of the surface slope is very difficult, partly from its extreme smallness, partly from oscillation of the water. Cunningham recommends that the slope be taken in a length of 2000 ft. by four simultaneous observations, two on each side of the river. § 134. Cross Sections -A stake is planted flush with the water, and its level relatively to some point on the line of levels is determined. Then the depth of the water is determined at a series of points (if A ~.-.


1 '°v.



X .



Sh ai;

Fig. 134.

possible at uniform distances) in a line starting from the stake and perpendicular to the thread of the stream. To obtain these, a wire may be stretched across with equal distances marked on it by hanging tags. The depth at each of these tags may be obtained by a light wooden stall, with a disk-shaped shoe 4 to 6 in. in diameter. If the depth is great, soundings may be taken by a chain and weight. To ensure the wire being perpendicular to the thread of the stream, it is desirable to stretch two other wires similarly graduated, one above and the other below, at a distance of 20 to 40 yds. A number of floats being then thrown in, it is observed whether they pass the same graduation on each wire. For large and rapid rivers the cross section is obtained by sounding in the following way. Let AC (fig. 135) be the line on which soundings are required. A base line AB is measured out at right angles to AC, and ranging staves are set up at AB and at D in line with AC. A boat is allowed to drop down stream, and, at the moment it comes in line with AD, the lead is

dropped, and an observer in the

boat takes, with a box sextant. If; the angle AEB subtended by



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ABE. By repeating observations a number of soundings are obtained, which can be plotted in their proper position, and the form of the river bed drawn by connecting the extremities of the lines. From the section can be measured the sectional area of the stream S2 and its wetted perimeter X; and from these the hydraulic mean depth rn can be calculated.

§ 135. Measurement of the Discharge of Rivers.-The area of cross section multiplied by the mean velocity gives the discharge of the stream. The height of the river with reference to some fixed mark should be noted whenever the velocity is observed, as the velocity and area of cross section are different in differ est states of the river. To determine the mean velocity various methods may be adopted; and, since no method is free from liability to error, either from the difficulty of the observations or from uncertainty as to the ratio of the mean velocity to the velocity observed, it is desirable that more than one method should be used.

TNSTRUMENTS ron l'lEASUR1NG THE VELOCITY or WATER § 136. Surface Floats are convenient for determining the surface velocities of a stream, though their use is difficult near the banks. The floats may be small balls of wood, of wax or of hollow metal, so

loaded as to float nearly flush with the water surface. To render