General field and office procedures for indirect discharge measurements

Techniques of Water-Resources Investigations 03-A1
By:  and 



The discharge of streams is usually measured by the current-meter method. During flood periods, however, it is frequently impossible or impractical to measure the discharges by this method when they occur. Consequently, many peak discharges must be determined after the passage of the flood by indirect methods, such as slope-area, contracted-opening, flow-over-dam, and flow-through-culvert, rather than by direct current-meter measurement. Indirect methods of determining peak discharge are based on hydraulic equations which relate the discharge to the water-surface profile and the geometry of the channel. A field survey is made after the flood to determine the location and elevation of high-water marks and the characteristics of the channel. Detailed descriptions of the general procedures used in collecting the field data and in computing the discharge are given in this report. Each of the methods requires special procedures described in subsequent chapters.

Suggested Citation

Benson, M.A., and Dalrymple, Tate, 1967, General field and office procedures for indirect measurements: U.S. Geological Survey Techniques of Water-Resources Investigations, book 3, chap. Al, 30 p.,

Table of Contents

  • Preface
  • Symbols and units
  • Abstract
  • Introduction
  • Acknowledgments
  • Collection of field data
  • Selection of site
  • Field survey
  • High-water marks
  • Cross sections
  • Photographs
  • Historical data
  • Sampling streambed material
  • Selection of roughness coefficient
  • Office procedures
  • Order of computations
  • Plan
  • Listing of high-water marks
  • High-water profiles
  • Cross sections
  • Computation of discharge
  • Measurement summary
  • Assembly of computations
  • Selected references
Publication type Report
Publication Subtype USGS Numbered Series
Title General field and office procedures for indirect discharge measurements
Series title Techniques of Water-Resources Investigations
Series number 03-A1
DOI 10.3133/twri03A1
Edition -
Year Published 1967
Language English
Publisher U.S. Geological Survey
Description vi, 30 p. :ill. ;26 cm. Reprinted in 1984.
Online Only (Y/N) N
Additional Online Files (Y/N) N
Google Analytic Metrics Metrics page
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