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What is Drainage System?

15-DEC-2014 11:36

    A drainage system can be defined as the pattern formed by the rivers, streams and lakes in a particular drainage basin. They are governed by the topography of the land, whether a particular region is governed by hard or soft rocks, and the slope of the land.

    Geomorphology is the scientific study of the origin and evolution of topographic and bathymetric features created by physical or chemical processes operating at or near Earth’s surface.

    Drainage Pattern recognition

    Based on the description of different drainage patterns, each pattern has its own characteristics, which can be reflected in some quantifiable variable related to some topological and geometrical aspects. Each pattern can be characterized by a combination of different variables. In this section, method for drainage pattern recognition is introduced. First, terms describing river networks are defined then classification criteria are introduced and the different steps of the process are detailed.


    Drainage pattern is an important geographic factor for river basin. This paper pioneers automatic recognition of drainage patterns in river networks. Five patterns are classified: dendritic, parallel, trellis, rectangular and reticulate patterns. The method is based on geometric indicators, such as the average angle, average sinuosity, and catchment elongation to classify the patterns automatically. The method was applied on a case study, the Russian river basin, and the results were discussed. The advantage of this work is that proposed geometric quantitative indicators are easy to obtain and calculate. Except the river network data itself, no other information about the terrain is needed. Validation of the results is based on assessments done on case studies. One limitation is that the qualitative description of the patterns relies on quantitative variables and depends on threshold values set by the users. A first direction for further work may be to introduce fuzzy logic in the classification. Fuzzy logic can provide indication about the likelihood of a network to belong to a pattern.

    DISCLAIMER: JPL and its affiliates shall have no liability for any views, thoughts and comments expressed on this article.

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