Discharge measurements at gaging stations

U.S. Geological Survey, Techniques of Water-Resources Investigations, Book 3, Chapter A8

by T.J. Buchanan and W.P. Somers

Table of Contents




Current-meter measurements

Instruments and equipment

Current meters

Vertical-axis current meters

Horizontal-axis current meters

Optical current meter

Care of the vertical-axis current meter

Rating of current meters

Sounding equipment

Wading rods

Sounding weights and accessories

Sounding reels

Sounding cable


Depth indicators

Power unit


Sonic sounder

Width-measuring equipment

Equipment assemblies

Cableway equipment

Bridge equipment

Boat equipment

Ice equipment


Miscellaneous equipment

Measurement of velocity

Vertical-velocity curve method

Two-point method

Six-tenths-depth method

Two-tenths-depth method

Three-point method

Subsurface method

Current-meter measurement procedure

Current-meter measurements by wading

Current-meter measurements from cableways

Current-meter measurements from bridges

Current-meter measurements from ice cover

Current-meter measurements from boats

Moving-boat measurements of discharge

Networks of current meters

Measurement of deep, swift streams

Possible to sound; weight and meter drift downstream

Not possible to sound; standard cross section available

Not possible to sound ; standard cross section not available

Not possible to put meter in water

Measurements during rapidly changing stage

Series of measurements during a peak of short duration

Mean gage height of discharge measurements

Portable weir plates

Portable Parshall flumes, description and theory

Volumetric measurements


Indirect discharge measurements

Dye-dilution method of measuring discharge




U.S. Department of the Interior, U.S. Geological Survey
Persistent URL:
Page Contact Information: Contact USGS
Last modified: Tuesday, December 06 2016, 04:41:23 PM
FirstGov button  Take Pride in America button