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Reconstructing Paleochannel Morphologic and Flow Characteristics: Methodology, Limitations, and Assessment
Empirical relations among hydrologic and sediment characteristics of alluvial channels and channel morphology have been developed by geomorphologists and hydrologists. Recently sedimentologists have begun to use these equations in order to estimate the morphologic and hydrologic characteristics of paleochannels from data obtained at paleochannel cross sections.
The estimates obtained in this way must be viewed with caution because of the limited data base from which the original equations were developed and the difficulty in obtaining data on paleochannel widths, depths, and sediment character. Because of the inherent error in such estimates the most reasonable approach is to use the simplest and most direct method involving only use of paleochannel dimensions. The additional effort required to determine the silt-clay content of sediment forming the channel perimeter may not be warranted.
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