Drainage Density and Relative Relief in Humid Steep Mountains with Frequent Slope Failure

Drainage Density and Relative Relief in Humid Steep Mountains with Frequent Slope Failure Previous studies in Japanese mountains have shown that drainage density (D) correlates negatively with relief (R) and the erosion rate (E), whereas elsewhere both R and E correlate positively with D. To investigate the inconsistency, this paper compares two types of D–R relations for eight mountain river basins in central Japan. R is computed from a digital elevation model for 1109 morphometric samples of area 0·5 km × 0·5 km. Drainage networks in these cells were first constructed by map criteria applied previously in Japan — deeply notched V‐shaped contours with an angle <53°. The resulting D correlates negatively with R, confirming preceding studies. When drainage lines along shallower hollows were added, however, the calculated D essentially constant. These relations arise from active landsliding in high‐relief terrains, which has eroded steep channel banks into gentle ones. The decline of channel banks with increasing R is accelerated in terrains underlain by soft rocks, because of rapid erosion. The constant D for all the drainage lines indicates a uniform frequency or spacing of ridges and hollows on hillslopes in rugged humid mountains. Because the D–R and D–E relations for Japan reflect a uniquely Japanese physiographic setting characterized by frequent landsliding, they differ from those relations for other regions where channelization by gullying predominates. © 1997 by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Earth Surface Processes and Landforms Wiley

Drainage Density and Relative Relief in Humid Steep Mountains with Frequent Slope Failure

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Publisher
Wiley
Copyright
Copyright © 1997 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
ISSN
0197-9337
eISSN
1096-9837
D.O.I.
10.1002/(SICI)1096-9837(199702)22:2<107::AID-ESP680>3.0.CO;2-U
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Previous studies in Japanese mountains have shown that drainage density (D) correlates negatively with relief (R) and the erosion rate (E), whereas elsewhere both R and E correlate positively with D. To investigate the inconsistency, this paper compares two types of D–R relations for eight mountain river basins in central Japan. R is computed from a digital elevation model for 1109 morphometric samples of area 0·5 km × 0·5 km. Drainage networks in these cells were first constructed by map criteria applied previously in Japan — deeply notched V‐shaped contours with an angle <53°. The resulting D correlates negatively with R, confirming preceding studies. When drainage lines along shallower hollows were added, however, the calculated D essentially constant. These relations arise from active landsliding in high‐relief terrains, which has eroded steep channel banks into gentle ones. The decline of channel banks with increasing R is accelerated in terrains underlain by soft rocks, because of rapid erosion. The constant D for all the drainage lines indicates a uniform frequency or spacing of ridges and hollows on hillslopes in rugged humid mountains. Because the D–R and D–E relations for Japan reflect a uniquely Japanese physiographic setting characterized by frequent landsliding, they differ from those relations for other regions where channelization by gullying predominates. © 1997 by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Journal

Earth Surface Processes and LandformsWiley

Published: Feb 1, 1997

References

  • Theoretical investigation of the time variation of drainage density
    Kashiwaya, Kashiwaya
  • Source areas, drainage density, and channel initiation
    Montgomery, Montgomery; Dietrich, Dietrich

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