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6.6: Project- Measuring Streamflow

  • Page ID
    88682
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    Purpose of the project: Apply numeric integration techniques to a real-world problem.

    river.svgfixme

    How do you measure streamflow? The basic idea is simple: it is area times velocity. For example, suppose you had a river that was \(20\) feet wide, \(3\) feet deep, and had water moving at \(2\) feet per second. Then we multiply the \(20\) and the \(3\) to get an area of \(60\) ft\(^2\), and the multiply by the \(2\) ft per second to get \(120\) ft\(^3\) per second. This works great if you have a rectangular river where the water moves at a constant velocity. But what if the river is not a rectangle? What if the velocity changes depending on where in the river you are? How can you find the streamflow? And what does this have to do with numeric integration techniques?

    1. Come up with two different ways to find streamflow in a river. Why do they work? And how do they relate to the numeric integration techniques we studied?
    2. Try both methods on the virtual river (see river.html). I recommend using a spreadsheet to record your data and to automatically do the calculations for you.
    3. If you have access to a flow meter or some method of calculating water velocity, try out both methods in a real river. Which method do you feel worked better? Why?

    This page titled 6.6: Project- Measuring Streamflow is shared under a CC BY 4.0 license and was authored, remixed, and/or curated by Tyler Seacrest via source content that was edited to the style and standards of the LibreTexts platform; a detailed edit history is available upon request.