THE recent Egyptian proposals for the control of the Nile1 have led me to make a detailed study of certain features of the White Nile and River Sobat. I have shown2 that on the White Nile the total width of the water surface varies approximately as the square of its height above the normal low level all the way along the river ; and that this relationship is on the average fairly constant for long stretches, in spite of large local variations. Thus for some purposes the river bed, with its complicated and varying channels, may be 'idealized' into a simple and symmetrical trough with banks which are approximately parabolic in profile (see diagram). This 'idealized trough' makes it comparatively simple to estimate the surface area and also (by integration) the contained volume at any stage of the flood for any length of the river, by using a mean of comparatively few cross-sections.
Hurst, Black and Simaika, "The Nile Basin", vol. 7.
Wright, J. W., Geograph. J. (in the press).
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WRIGHT, J. Some Characteristics of the White Nile and Sobat Flood Plains. Nature 164, 926 (1949). https://doi.org/10.1038/164926a0
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