Originally Posted by elkhaven
I'll pick that nit - 500 cfs means a lot it tells you exactly how much water is flowing through the stream. No it doesn't tell you the dimensions of the stream so you don't know if that's deep, shallow fast or slow, BUT it's infinitely more useful than 6.52' on the gauge. That could mean 30k cfs or 2 cfs on different streams.
If you were researching new trips which would you look at?
So now you start adding variables like new trips.....and stuff.
I made the most recent comments in regards to the validity of a gauge reading on the Middle Fork vs a CFS reading on the Middle Fork.
I will address this to Mania as well. Without a prior point of reference either number becomes subjective to one's experience. 10cfs is big on the Middle Fork but not on many other large rivers. It is a bit low in the Grand Canyon.
Originally Posted by mania
False. height has absolutely no meaning without repeated runs at all different levels. move the stick 10 feet and you have to relearn everything. with cfs you can infer a lot based on the size of the drainage and gradient. move the gauge half mile up or downstream no big deal as long as you don't move it past a significant confluence.
There is still subjective knowledge required for CFS to mean something. I have learned that particularly with low flows one person's 'low' is not the same as it is for me. Whether you call it 450 cfs or 1.45 without knowing the river involved it means nothing. Not talking about moving the stick just the arbitrary assignment of value to subjective numbers.
The linearity of 1,000 cfs being double 500 could be useful to some but it is still only marginally useful.
I was speaking directly to the Middle Fork gauge and that the 'foot' reading is just as useful as cfs.
Does everyone know that the cfs is calculated from the 'foot' gauge reading?
yep. it is. on the Middle Fork that is. That was one of my points.
The 'calibration' involves actually mapping the streambed in segments and using a current meter or an Acoustic Doppler Velocimeter to measure flow in the different segments.
Personally I think there is way too much attachment to numbers. Maybe that is why I don't really care what number is used. Either one is only marginally useful.