Document Type


Date of Degree

Summer 2012

Degree Name

MS (Master of Science)

Degree In

Civil and Environmental Engineering

First Advisor

Larry J. Weber

Second Advisor

Ricardo Mantilla


A multi-scale Monte Carlo simulation was performed on nine streams of increasing Horton order to investigate the role that variability in hydraulic geometry and resistance play in modifying a flood hydrograph. This study attempts to determine the potential to replace actual cross-sections along a stream reach with a prismatic channel that has mean cross-sectional properties. The primary finding of this work is that the flood routing model is less sensitive to variability in the channel geometry as the Horton order of the stream increases. It was also established that even though smaller streams are more sensitive to variability in hydraulic geometry and resistance, replacing cross-sections along the channel with a characteristic reach wise average cross-section, is still a suitable approximation. Finally a case study of applying this methodology to a natural river is performed with promising results.


Cross-section, Geometry, Hydraulic, Multiscale, Routing, Uncertainty


ix, 97 pages


Includes bibliographical references (pages 90-97).


Copyright 2012 Jared Wendell Barr