On the dynamics of stream piracy Conference Paper uri icon

abstract

  • Drainage network reorganization by stream piracy is invoked repeatedly to explain the morphology of unique drainage patterns and as a possible mechanism inducing abrupt variations of sediment accumulation rates. However, direct evidence of stream piracy is usually rare, and is highly interpretation dependent. As a first step in assessing how probable capture events are and establishing the conditions that favor stream piracy versus the those that favor stable landscapes, we formulate analytically the physics of divide migration and capture events and study this formulation from a dynamical system point of view. The formulation is based on a one-dimensional topographic cross section between two channels that share a water divide. Two hillslope profiles diverge from the divide and drain into two fluvial bedrock tributaries, whose erosion rate is controlled by a stream …

publication date

  • April 1, 2012