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Computation of peak discharge at culverts

January 1, 1994

Methods for computing peak flood flow through culverts on the basis of a field survey of highwater marks and culvert geometry are presented. These methods are derived from investigations of culvert flow as reported in the literature and on extensive laboratory studies of culvert flow. For convenience in computation, culvert flow has been classified into six types, according to the location of the control section and the relative heights of the head-water and tail-water levels. The type of flow which occurred at any site can be determined from the field data and the criteria given in this report. A discharge equation has been developed for each flow type by combining the energy and continuity equations for the distance between an approach section upstream from the culvert and a terminal section within the culvert barrel. The discharge coefficient applicable to each flow type is listed for the more common entrance geometries. Procedures for computing peak discharge through culverts are outlined in detail for each of the six flow types.

Citation Information

Publication Year 1957
Title Computation of peak discharge at culverts
DOI 10.3133/cir376
Authors Rolland William Carter
Publication Type Report
Publication Subtype USGS Numbered Series
Series Title Circular
Series Number 376
Index ID cir376
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization