Potential Energy and Stream Morphology

Potential Energy and Stream Morphology Use of the analogy of entropy in thermodynamics reveals two basic laws which govern the formation of all stream systems. The first law is the law of average stream fall, which states that under the dynamic equilibrium condition the ratio of average fall between any two different order streams in the same river basin is unity. The second law is the law of least rate of energy expenditure, which states that during the evolution toward its equilibrium condition a natural stream chooses its course of flow in such a manner that the rate of potential energy expenditure per unit mass of water along this course is a minimum. This minimum value depends on the external constraints applied to the stream. The concavity of a river basin is shown to be the determinative factor in the formation of a stream system. On the basis of Horton's law and the law of average stream fall, longitudinal stream profiles can be calculated. The agreement between observed data and the theories found in this study is excellent. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Water Resources Research Wiley

Potential Energy and Stream Morphology

Water Resources Research, Volume 7 (2) – Apr 1, 1971

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Publisher
Wiley
Copyright
Copyright © 1971 by the American Geophysical Union.
ISSN
0043-1397
eISSN
1944-7973
D.O.I.
10.1029/WR007i002p00311
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Use of the analogy of entropy in thermodynamics reveals two basic laws which govern the formation of all stream systems. The first law is the law of average stream fall, which states that under the dynamic equilibrium condition the ratio of average fall between any two different order streams in the same river basin is unity. The second law is the law of least rate of energy expenditure, which states that during the evolution toward its equilibrium condition a natural stream chooses its course of flow in such a manner that the rate of potential energy expenditure per unit mass of water along this course is a minimum. This minimum value depends on the external constraints applied to the stream. The concavity of a river basin is shown to be the determinative factor in the formation of a stream system. On the basis of Horton's law and the law of average stream fall, longitudinal stream profiles can be calculated. The agreement between observed data and the theories found in this study is excellent.

Journal

Water Resources ResearchWiley

Published: Apr 1, 1971

References

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