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Discharge (hydrology)

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In hydrology, the discharge of a river is the volume of water transported by it in a certain amount of time. The unit used internationally is m³/s (cubic meters per second). For example, the average discharge of the Rhine river is 2200 m³/s. In the United States cfs, cubic feet per second, is commonly used.

The discharge of a river can be estimated by taking the area of a cross-section of the river and multiplying it by the river's average velocity.

The greater the discharge of a river, the more sediment it may carry. In relative terms the ability to carry sediments depends on the settling velocity, the speed of the flow.

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Original content adapted from the Wikipedia article "Discharge (hydrology)" http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Discharge_%28hydrology%29

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