Enter the width and depth of the stream and the flow rate into the calculator to determine the stream velocity.

Stream Velocity Formula

The following equation is used to calculate the Stream Velocity.

SV = Q / (W*D)

  • Where SV is the stream velocity (ft/s)
  • Q is the volumetric flow rate (ft^3/s)
  • W is the width of the stream (ft)
  • D is the depth of the stream (ft)

What is a Stream Velocity?


A stream velocity is a measure of the linear rate of change of distance with respect to time of a stream or river.

How to Calculate Stream Velocity?

Example Problem:

The following example outlines the steps and information needed to calculate Stream Velocity.

First, determine the volumetric flow rate. In this example, the volumetric flow rate is found to be 3,000 ft^3/s.

Next, determine the width of the stream. For this problem, the width of the stream is found to be 50 ft.

Next, determine the depth of the stream. In this case, the depth of the stream is measured to be 3ft.

Finally, calculate the Stream Velocity using the formula above:

SV = Q / (W*D)

SV = 3000 / (50*3)

SV = 20 ft/s