At this point it should be made clear that open channel hydraulics is concerned with two principal types of channel, canals and rivers. The term canal is taken here to include all artificial channels regardless of their size and purpose and while the flow that takes place in these may be relatively complex the purpose for which they are designed and built is normally clear. On the other hand, a river* may fulfil a number of functions of use to man and it does not follow that those who are concerned at any one time with one particular function may fully appreciate all the others. Unfortunately, human interference with a natural river that is aimed at benefiting one of its functions will often affect many of the others, frequently adversely.
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- Control and Measurement of Open Channel Flow
B.Sc., Ph.D. Robert H. J. Sellin
- Macmillan Education UK