Quantitative Skills > Teaching Resources > Activities > Effective Discharge in Fluvial Geomorphology

Effective Discharge in Fluvial Geomorphology

Richard Laurence Orndorff, University of Nevada, Las Vegas, Department of Geoscience

John Francis Stamm, California State University, Monterey Bay, Institute for Earth Systems Science & Policy


Use statistically and empirically based solution techniques to calculate the effective discharge of a stream. Students are given a 10-year record of river data on water and bedload discharge, flow frequency, and maximum daily discharge for each year. They must use the data to construct a rating curve for bedload transport, determine total volume of sediment transported by each flow-magnitude class, and discuss the recurrence interval of the effective discharge. Real and fictional data can be used.

Learning Goals

Context for Use

This activity is appropriate for upper-level undergraduate geoscience students and can be adapted for graduate students.

Teaching Notes and Tips

To adapt this exercise to a graduate level class:

References and Resources

Activity from:

Stream data can be obtained from several sources including the following:

Contact the Author

Please contact john_stamm@monterey.edu with questions or suggestions.

Controlled Vocabulary Terms

Subject: Geoscience:Hydrology:Ground Water, Ground Water:Water supply/water resource evaluation
Special Interest: Quantitative
Quantitative Skills: Logarithms/Exponential Functions, Problem Solving, Geometry and Trigonometry, Probability and Statistics:Probability, Data Trends:Curve Fitting/Regression
Quantitative Skills Activity Type: Lab Activity, Problem Set, Classroom Activity
Topics: Hydrosphere/Cryosphere:Groundwater, Groundwater:Water supply/water resource evaluation
Theme: Teach the Earth:Teaching Topics:Water, Teach the Earth:Course Topics:Hydrology/Hydrogeology

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