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Stone Control Structure – Flume

What is a good way to gage a stream without using a weir or an engineered flume?  How about this stone control structure / flume?

Having a stable control  is invaluable for developing a good stream flow rating curve.  A rating curve relates the depth of the stream to the flow at a particular point. By a stable control I am referring to  a cross-section of stream that will not change over time due to erosion, etc.

This large stone control structure provides a stable cross-section and controls the depth of the pool upstream for gaging.  This particular structure is built like a flume, narrowing the width of the channel at its throat.  The narrowing causes a larger change in pool depth for a given change in flow, increasing the resolution of the rating curve.

One advantage of a structure like this is that it allows the free passage of fish, unlike a weir or some engineered flumes.  It is also aesthetically pleasing and fairly “natural” looking.

While this is a fairly simple structure, it was not easy to install.  The 6 Stones used weighed over 500 pounds a piece.  Next, we will be installing instruments in the pool above to gage the flow and collect water quality measures.

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1 Comment

  1. Nice job Dave! I really like the aesthetics of this one, and the narrow throat will definitely give it the low end sensitivity that you’re looking for.

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