This paper explores the similarities of digital elevation maps (DEMs) of natural river basins and optimal channel network (OCN) configurations obtained minimizing the total rate of energy expenditure in the system as a whole and in its parts. Striking similarities are observed for natural and optimal networks in their fractal aggregation structure and in certain multifractal structures found to be characteristic of river basins. Our results suggest, upon critical assessment of the reliability of the identification of the attractor of the underlying dynamics implied by our optimality concepts, that fractal structures are indeed possibly a product of least energy dissipation. Power laws emerging in the description of the distribution of aggregated quantities from both DEMs and OCNs suggest a link with the framework of self‐organized criticality in the dynamics of natural channel network formation. Also, the geomorphological description of OCNs reveals surprising analogies with well‐known empirical or experimental results, A comparison of Peano's basins with OCNs suggests that nature seems to reject the type of strict self‐similarity exhibited by Peano's construct in favor of different shapes implying statistical self‐similarity not only because of chance acting through random conditions but also because of necessity as reflected by least energy expenditure considerations.
Water Resources Research – Wiley
Published: Sep 1, 1992
It’s your single place to instantly
discover and read the research
that matters to you.
Enjoy affordable access to
over 18 million articles from more than
15,000 peer-reviewed journals.
All for just $49/month
Query the DeepDyve database, plus search all of PubMed and Google Scholar seamlessly
Save any article or search result from DeepDyve, PubMed, and Google Scholar... all in one place.
Get unlimited, online access to over 18 million full-text articles from more than 15,000 scientific journals.
Read from thousands of the leading scholarly journals from SpringerNature, Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford University Press and more.
All the latest content is available, no embargo periods.
“Hi guys, I cannot tell you how much I love this resource. Incredible. I really believe you've hit the nail on the head with this site in regards to solving the research-purchase issue.”Daniel C.
“Whoa! It’s like Spotify but for academic articles.”@Phil_Robichaud
“I must say, @deepdyve is a fabulous solution to the independent researcher's problem of #access to #information.”@deepthiw
“My last article couldn't be possible without the platform @deepdyve that makes journal papers cheaper.”@JoseServera