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A universal form of power law relationships for river and stream channels

A universal form of power law relationships for river and stream channels
A universal form of power law relationships for river and stream channels
The description of the geomorphic characteristics in power law forms has been the subject of research, over the past 70 years, and has become the cornerstone of regime theory. However, just why power functions should represent such geomorphic relationships remains poorly understood. Hence, differences in the values of the regime exponents observed for different river systems remain largely unexplained. To address this issue, we derived generic forms of the power law relationships without postulating any power functions of the discharge. The theoretical approach accurately captures the systematic variations of the regime exponents shown by a number of large data sets from previous research. We also explain how frictional resistance is responsible for the systematic variability of regime exponents. Overall, our study provides a robust mechanism to describe the variations ofthe exponents, along with a deductive explanation of the power laws at the core of fluvial hydraulic geometry.
power-law relationships, regime theory, river morphology
0094-8276
Xu, Fan
94baedd4-45f0-436e-83d4-4e2ebcd1bec3
Coco, Giovanni
57b4e9d4-9ca8-49c2-b9e2-072c62f5dc4f
Zhou, Zeng
cf550d40-fd8c-4786-b9ea-baed1447ea53
Townend, Ian
f72e5186-cae8-41fd-8712-d5746f78328e
Guo, Leicheng
34353fa1-acc0-4b3e-a25f-d72a8565dc52
He, Qing
036add56-52f0-4faf-8afb-98011533d166
Xu, Fan
94baedd4-45f0-436e-83d4-4e2ebcd1bec3
Coco, Giovanni
57b4e9d4-9ca8-49c2-b9e2-072c62f5dc4f
Zhou, Zeng
cf550d40-fd8c-4786-b9ea-baed1447ea53
Townend, Ian
f72e5186-cae8-41fd-8712-d5746f78328e
Guo, Leicheng
34353fa1-acc0-4b3e-a25f-d72a8565dc52
He, Qing
036add56-52f0-4faf-8afb-98011533d166

Xu, Fan, Coco, Giovanni, Zhou, Zeng, Townend, Ian, Guo, Leicheng and He, Qing (2020) A universal form of power law relationships for river and stream channels. Geophysical Research Letters, 47 (20), [e2020GL090493]. (doi:10.1029/2020GL090493).

Record type: Article

Abstract

The description of the geomorphic characteristics in power law forms has been the subject of research, over the past 70 years, and has become the cornerstone of regime theory. However, just why power functions should represent such geomorphic relationships remains poorly understood. Hence, differences in the values of the regime exponents observed for different river systems remain largely unexplained. To address this issue, we derived generic forms of the power law relationships without postulating any power functions of the discharge. The theoretical approach accurately captures the systematic variations of the regime exponents shown by a number of large data sets from previous research. We also explain how frictional resistance is responsible for the systematic variability of regime exponents. Overall, our study provides a robust mechanism to describe the variations ofthe exponents, along with a deductive explanation of the power laws at the core of fluvial hydraulic geometry.

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More information

Accepted/In Press date: 28 September 2020
e-pub ahead of print date: 7 October 2020
Published date: 28 October 2020
Keywords: power-law relationships, regime theory, river morphology

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 444667
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/444667
ISSN: 0094-8276
PURE UUID: a3724762-765c-46e0-a716-004f8b42f679
ORCID for Ian Townend: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0003-2101-3858

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 28 Oct 2020 18:05
Last modified: 26 Nov 2021 02:45

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Contributors

Author: Fan Xu
Author: Giovanni Coco
Author: Zeng Zhou
Author: Ian Townend ORCID iD
Author: Leicheng Guo
Author: Qing He

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