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Maharjan and Tamrakar

Maharjan and Tamrakar

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Published by: Central Department of Geology on Dec 14, 2010
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Bulletin of the Department of Geology, Tribhuvan University, Kathmandu, Nepal, Vol. 13, 2010, pp. 112
Morpho-hydraulic parameters and existing stability condition of  Nakhu River, southern Kathmandu, Central Nepal
Binod Maharjan and
*
 Naresh Kazi Tamrakar 
Central Department of Geology, Tribhuvan University, Kathmandu, Nepal 
ABSTRACT
The Nakhu River is the fifth order main stem which contributes the Bagmati River from the southern part of the Kathmanduvalley. Based on morphologic and hydraulic assessments, the river segments 1, 2 and 3 (fifth order streams), and Segment 4 (fourthorder stream) were classified respectively as C5-, C5-, C4- and C4-streams. C5-streams were sandy meandering streams and C4streams are gravelly meandering streams. All these segments were moderately entrenched with relatively low bank height ratiosexcept for Segment 3. These stream segments were laterally unstable and are competent enough to mobilise their riverbed materials.Currently all the segments are potentially aggrading depending on F-M relationship. However, the relationship may be impaired by human activities. To improve the river further studies and rehabilitation works are required.*Corresponding author:E-mail address: ntamrakar@hotmail.com
Bulletin of the Department of Geology
INTRODUCTION
The Nakhu watershed lies between latitude27°3215N to 27°4040N and longitude85°1710E to 85°2430E (Fig. 1). It extends for about 16 km N-S and about 12 km E-W, and has anarea of about 58 km
2
with an altitude ranging from1260 m to 2625 m above mean sea level. Thewatershed is demarcated by the Mahabharat Rangein the southern part, while by the Quaternary terracedeposits of valley sediments in the other parts. Inthe southern part the watershed is surrounded byPhulbaridada in east (2590 m), Gothdada in south(2083 m) and Deurali in west (2075 m).The Nakhu River is one of the largest riverscontributing to the Bagmati River from the southernranges of the Kathmandu valley. These ranges have been actively uplifting from last 1 Ma (Sakai, 2001).Hence huge amount of sediments have been carriedand transported by the Nakhu River from the upliftingand eroded southern ranges, and the materials have been deposited in the form of gravelly to sandyterrace deposits. These deposits exist at elevatedhorizons and the Nakhu River has incised the valleyfurther depositing at successively lower levels of terraces and currently the sediments have beendeposited at the recent flood plains. From thegeomorphological point of view the river hasremained quite active and experienced several debrisflow events at past, and the whole watershed areacontributed as alluvial fans to the peripheral part of the paleo Kathmandu lake. Our focus is on thecurrent and future activity of the Nakhu River andwe are mainly concerned on the river coveringhydrologic flood plans. Recently the Nakhu River has been very much disturbed by variousanthropogenic factors, which have altered andimpaired stability condition and function of the river.Therefore, the objectives of this study are (a) firstlyto recognise morphology, geometry, and type, and(b) secondly, to evaluate the stability condition(aggrading/degrading potential, and how competentthe river is). Tamrakar (2004), Shrestha and Tamrakar (2007), Tamrakar and Bajracharya (2009) evaluatedstability condition of the Bishnumati and theManahara Rivers, the major tributaries of the Bagmati
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 B. Maharjan and N. K. Tamrakar/ Bulletin of the Department of Geology, Vol. 13, 2010, pp. 112
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KATHMANDU
Study area
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Nallu
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Phulchoki
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Fig. 1 Location map, drainage order and four surveyed segments of the Nakhu River 
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2  7  °    3  2        3   0      N2  7  °    3   5       N2  7  °    3  7        3   0      N2  7  °   4   0       N
85°1730E85°20E85°2230E
 
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Segment 1Segment 2Segment 3Segment 4
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1766156814251894216319352590202617551636185016851595143113261338130212881935
Tikabhairab
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ThechoChapagoanCharghareBhainsepatiNakhudol
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012 KmFirst order streamSecond order streamThird order streamFourth order streamExisting fifth order stream (2009)Previous stream (1995)Watershed boundaryLEGEND
 
3
Morpho-hydraulic parameters and existing stability condition of Nakhu River, southern Kathmandu, Central Nepal 
River originating from the northern ranges. The present study sets up the stability condition of theone of the major rivers originating from the southernranges of Kathmandu.
METHODOLOGY
The regional watershed parameters and river  planiform were measured from the topo maps(1:10,000 and 1:25,000) and reconnaissance fieldvisit was made along the river. Then four representative segments of the Nakhu River wereselected (Fig. 1) based on their planiform, and natureof channel condition, as segment 1 (Nakhu area),Segment 2 (Bhainsepati area), Segment 3(Chapagaon area), and Segment 4 (Nallu area).These segments were surveyed for cross-sectionaland longitudinal profiles using a leveling instrument,staff and a measuring tape. For the characterisationof grain size in segment, Wolmans (1954) pebblecounting method was applied in each transects of the four segments. The median grain size obtainedfrom segment counting was applied in streamclassification after Rosgen (1994). The volumetric bar surface samples were sieved separately for grainsize parameter and stream competence evaluation.The stream segments were classified according tothe criteria of Rosgen (1994). Because there is nodischarge measuring station, bankfull discharge andvelocity were deduced using Mannings equationand continuity equation. The Mannings roughnesscoefficients were evaluated from the field survey of stream segments. Stream aggrading/degrading potential was evaluated using F versus M relationshipof Schumm (1963).
MORPHOMETRY
The Nakhu River originates from Phulbaridadaof the Phulchoki Range located at the SE of thewatershed, where the river originates as the BhardeuKhola, which transfers to the Nallu Khola at Nalluvillage. The Nallu Khola after contribution from theLele Khola at Tikabhairav becomes the main stem Nakhu River.
Drainage order 
The drainage order of the Nakhu watershedranges from first order to fifth order (Fig. 1). Thefifth order stream has greater length extending for about 14 km. The first, second, third, and fourthorder streams extend for 1.19 km, 0.89 km, and 0.59km, 9.31 km, which is measured along the mainstem, respectively.The Nakhu River is a fifth order river fed bytwo 4th order and one 3rd order major tributarieswith three sub-basins viz Nallu Khola, Lele Khola,and Burunchuli Khola. Among these sub-basin, the Nallu Khola sub-basin is the largest of about 22.64km
2
, the Lele Khola sub-basin with 14.922 km
2
andthe Burunchuli Khola sub-basin is the smallest of about 4.457 km
2
.
Drainage pattern
In the Nakhu watershed, there are mainly twokinds of drainage patterns viz dendritic and parallel.The southern part of the watershed exhibits paralleldrainage pattern. The dendritic drainage pattern isobserved in the hills of Bhardeu, Lele, andBurunchuli.
Drainage texture
The drainage texture of the Nakhu watershed isfine to moderate at the southern part where bed rocksexist, whereas it is coarse to very coarse at the centraland the northern parts of the watershed, which isrelatively low-lying terrace fields (Fig. 2a).
Relative relief 
The southern part of watershed, which issurrounded by hills, has a high relative relief (Fig.2b). The northern part, which is a low lying area,has a low relative relief. The higher relief in thesouthern part is attributed to active erosion, upliftmentof the ridges, and presence of competent rocks.
LANDUSE
Most of the floodplains, the low-lying land andthe gentle slope area are used for farming andsettlement. The other parts are covered by forest,and some of the parts as quarry sites for constructionmaterials. Most of the southern parts of watershedconsist of steep to gentle slopes, which are covered by forest. Also most of the quarries in the area arelocated in these hills of southeastern to southwestern part of the watershed. Increase in sediment loadfrom quarry sites causes increase in turbidity of river 

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