Design Criteria for Cross-Slope Channels

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Allen Thompson
Department of Agricultural Engineering

Cross-slope channels are wide, shallow channels constructed across a slope to provide drainage and erosion control on nearly flat to gently sloping upland. This publication describes how to design a cross-slope channel to meet the needs of a particular setting.

Tables, diagrams and text illustrate how to determine important design factors such as channel grade, channel depth and capacity and required spacing between channels. Considerations involved in constructing channels that can be crossed during farming operations are also discussed.


  • Soil erosion
  • Terraces
  • Water channels


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