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Title: Path selection in the growth of rivers

Abstract

River networks exhibit a complex ramified structure that has inspired decades of studies. But, an understanding of the propagation of a single stream remains elusive. In this paper, we invoke a criterion for path selection from fracture mechanics and apply it to the growth of streams in a diffusion field. We show that, as it cuts through the landscape, a stream maintains a symmetric groundwater flow around its tip. The local flow conditions therefore determine the growth of the drainage network. We use this principle to reconstruct the history of a network and to find a growth law associated with it. Finally, our results show that the deterministic growth of a single channel based on its local environment can be used to characterize the structure of river networks.

Authors:
; ; ; ; ;
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Massachusetts Inst. of Technology (MIT), Cambridge, MA (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), Basic Energy Sciences (BES)
OSTI Identifier:
1235183
Alternate Identifier(s):
OSTI ID: 1348906
Grant/Contract Number:  
FG02-99ER15004
Resource Type:
Published Article
Journal Name:
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Name: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America Journal Volume: 112 Journal Issue: 46; Journal ID: ISSN 0027-8424
Publisher:
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
54 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES; river channels; principle of local symmetry; harmonic growth; Loewner equation; fracture mechanics

Citation Formats

Cohen, Yossi, Devauchelle, Olivier, Seybold, Hansjörg F., Yi, Robert S., Szymczak, Piotr, and Rothman, Daniel H. Path selection in the growth of rivers. United States: N. p., 2015. Web. doi:10.1073/pnas.1413883112.
Cohen, Yossi, Devauchelle, Olivier, Seybold, Hansjörg F., Yi, Robert S., Szymczak, Piotr, & Rothman, Daniel H. Path selection in the growth of rivers. United States. doi:10.1073/pnas.1413883112.
Cohen, Yossi, Devauchelle, Olivier, Seybold, Hansjörg F., Yi, Robert S., Szymczak, Piotr, and Rothman, Daniel H. Mon . "Path selection in the growth of rivers". United States. doi:10.1073/pnas.1413883112.
@article{osti_1235183,
title = {Path selection in the growth of rivers},
author = {Cohen, Yossi and Devauchelle, Olivier and Seybold, Hansjörg F. and Yi, Robert S. and Szymczak, Piotr and Rothman, Daniel H.},
abstractNote = {River networks exhibit a complex ramified structure that has inspired decades of studies. But, an understanding of the propagation of a single stream remains elusive. In this paper, we invoke a criterion for path selection from fracture mechanics and apply it to the growth of streams in a diffusion field. We show that, as it cuts through the landscape, a stream maintains a symmetric groundwater flow around its tip. The local flow conditions therefore determine the growth of the drainage network. We use this principle to reconstruct the history of a network and to find a growth law associated with it. Finally, our results show that the deterministic growth of a single channel based on its local environment can be used to characterize the structure of river networks.},
doi = {10.1073/pnas.1413883112},
journal = {Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America},
number = 46,
volume = 112,
place = {United States},
year = {2015},
month = {11}
}

Journal Article:
Free Publicly Available Full Text
Publisher's Version of Record
DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1413883112

Citation Metrics:
Cited by: 10 works
Citation information provided by
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    Works referencing / citing this record:

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