The fractal nature of river networks

The fractal nature of river networks Ever since Mandelbrot (1975, 1983) coined the term, there has been speculation that river networks are fractals. Here we report analyses done on river networks to determine their fractal structure. We find that the network as a whole, although composed of nearly linear members, is practically space filling with fractal dimension near 2. The empirical results are backed by a theoretical analysis based on long‐standing hydrologic concepts describing the geometric similarity of river networks. These results advance our understanding of the geometry and composition of river networks. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Water Resources Research Wiley

The fractal nature of river networks

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Abstract

Ever since Mandelbrot (1975, 1983) coined the term, there has been speculation that river networks are fractals. Here we report analyses done on river networks to determine their fractal structure. We find that the network as a whole, although composed of nearly linear members, is practically space filling with fractal dimension near 2. The empirical results are backed by a theoretical analysis based on long‐standing hydrologic concepts describing the geometric similarity of river networks. These results advance our understanding of the geometry and composition of river networks.

Journal

Water Resources ResearchWiley

Published: Aug 1, 1988

References

  • Topographic partition of watersheds with digital elevation models
    Band, Band

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