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Du Boys and sediment transport

Author(s): W.H. Hager

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Abstract: Paul Du Boys was the first to present a rational approach for sediment transport in gravel-bed rivers. His analysis was a first step away from purely empirical treatment of phenomena that occupied river engineers of the 19th century mainly for concerns with internal navigation. The main ideas of Du Boys are reviewed in the present paper, together with the experimental verification by the young Austrian Armin Schoklitsch only 35 years later. The impact of Du Boys' advance is also highlighted and his biography is presented, based on an accidental retrieve of his present family. The reasons for the early retirement of Du Boys out from the Ponts et Chaussées corps are given to explain the comparatively low status that he had in his professional organization. This historical paper would thus like to account for one of the most original individuals of the great French period in hydraulics and point to the origins of river engineering, of which many features are not understood even today.


Year: 2005

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