How does the Yampa river compare to rivers around the world?

Measurements of river channels such as width, depth, and flow can provide valuable information for understanding the health and functioning of the river or stream.

The Yampa river width and discharge (volume /time of river flow) can be compared to the width and discharge of rivers around the world.  Note – the Yampa river is about 81ft (25 m) wide at the 5th street bridge in Steamboat Springs, CO

GoogleEarth image of the Yampa River at 5th street bridge, downtown Steamboat Springs

 

The USGS maintains stream measurements at various locations around the US. A long-running record is the Yampa River at 5th street bridge (>100 years).  Notice the range in discharge (volume of water per time) ranges from about 100 cfs to 3000 cfs (cfs = cubic feet per second) or 3 cms to 85 cms (cubic meters per second).

United States Geological Survey discharge (flow) record

 

Geomorphologists and engineers have been measuring and colllating river metrics for decades.  As scientists, they publish this data and make it publicly available.

Compilation of measurements from rivers around the world.

 

The stream discharge to channel width measurements for river around the world.

 

If we plot the metrics of the Yampa at 5th Street Bridge, downtown Steamboat, we get a sense of how the Yampa at this location ‘measures up’ to rivers around the world.

 

Yampa River meaurements – black/yellow star.

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