Stream Gradient Calculator


About Stream Gradient Calculator (Formula)

The Stream Gradient Calculator is a tool that calculates the slope or gradient of a stream, which is a measure of how steeply it descends over a given distance. It is an important measure in hydrology and environmental science because stream gradient can affect a range of physical, chemical, and biological processes, including sediment transport, flow velocity, erosion, and habitat suitability for aquatic organisms.

The formula for calculating stream gradient is


where SG is the stream gradient, VS is the vertical stream difference in elevation, and HS is the horizontal stream difference over the same distance. The vertical stream difference is the change in elevation between two points along the stream, while the horizontal stream difference is the distance between the two points measured along the stream.

The stream gradient is usually expressed as a percentage or a ratio. For example, a stream with a gradient of 1% or 0.01 has a drop in elevation of 1 meter for every 100 meters of horizontal distance, while a stream with a gradient of 1:100 has a drop of 1 meter for every 100 meters.

The Stream Gradient Calculator can help hydrologists, environmental scientists, and engineers to assess the physical characteristics and environmental health of streams, and to design structures and systems that can mitigate the negative impacts of stream erosion, sedimentation, and flooding.

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