Abstract

Investigations of channel geometry in a headwater stream in Cornwall, England, reveal that systematic variations of channel width occur in conjunction with the oscillations of bed topography in the riffle-pool sequence. The channel tends to be about 15 percent wider in the riffle section, where central bars of coarse bed material divert the flow against the banks. This is reflected in the occurrence of distinct downstream trends of width as a function of bankfull discharge in riffle and pool sections. There is some evidence that the widest channel occurs just downstream from the summit of the riffle, which indicates that the width oscillation lags behind the profile oscillation, presumably because it is related to flow characteristics induced by bed topography.

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