The analysis of topographic and hydrologic data gathered during studies of erosion in semiarid areas of Western United States show the following relation: (a) Mean annual sediment yield from small drainage basins is related to a ratio of basin relief to length; (b) mean annual runoff from small drainage basins is related to drainage density; (c) mean annual sediment yield per unit area decreases with increase in drainage area; (d) the form of some convex hill slopes is related to surficial creep; (e) asymmetry of drainage basins, including differences in hill-slope erosion and drainage density, is related to microclimatic variations on slopes of diverse exposure; .(f) the cutting of discontinuous gullies is closely related to steepening by deposition of the semiarid valley floor; (g) aggradation in ephemeral streams seems to be most prevalent in reaches where the ratio of contributing drainage area to channel length is relatively small; and (h) streamchannel shape, expressed as a width-depth ratio, is related to the percentage of silt-clay in bed and bank alluvium. The above relations cannot be detected without measurement of terrain characteristics. They further indicate the importance of quantitative terrain analysis in studies of erosion.
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USGS Numbered Series
Progress in the application of landform analysis in studies of semiarid erosion