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River flow mass exponents with fractal channel networks and rainfall

Advances in Water Resources

By:
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DOI: 10.1016/S0309-1708(01)00031-8

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Abstract

An important problem in hydrologic science is understanding how river flow is influenced by rainfall properties and drainage basin characteristics. In this paper we consider one approach, the use of mass exponents, in examining the relation of river flow to rainfall and the channel network, which provides the primary conduit for transport of water to the outlet in a large basin. Mass exponents, which characterize the power-law behavior of moments as a function of scale, are ideally suited for defining scaling behavior of processes that exhibit a high degree of variability or intermittency. The main result in this paper is an expression relating the mass exponent of flow resulting from an instantaneous burst of rainfall to the mass exponents of spatial rainfall and that of the network width function. Spatial rainfall is modeled as a random multiplicative cascade and the channel network as a recursive replacement tree; these fractal models reproduce certain types of self-similar behavior seen in actual rainfall and networks. It is shown that under these modeling assumptions the scaling behavior of flow mirrors that of rainfall if rainfall is highly variable in space, and on the other hand flow mirrors the structure of the network if rainfall is not so highly variable. ?? 2001 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.

Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Article
Publication Subtype:
Journal Article
Title:
River flow mass exponents with fractal channel networks and rainfall
Series title:
Advances in Water Resources
DOI:
10.1016/S0309-1708(01)00031-8
Volume
24
Issue:
9-10
Year Published:
2001
Language:
English
Larger Work Type:
Article
Larger Work Subtype:
Journal Article
Larger Work Title:
Advances in Water Resources
First page:
967
Last page:
989
Number of Pages:
23