Measuring River Discharge

Calculating a river’s discharge, often measured in cfs (cubic feet per second), requires measuring some basic parameters of the river. The students broke up into four groups and headed off to four different rivers (Snake, Hoback, Upper Granite Creek, Lower Granite Creek, and the confluence of Upper and Lower Granite) around Hoback Junction, WY. At each location they needed to determine the cross sectional area of the river (done with measuring tapes/sticks), then the water’s velocity (done by dropping fruit into the river and timing it from point A to point B, passing through the plane of interest). As usual, the footage was filmed on GoPro cameras.


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