A Fractal Concept in Stream, Swale, and Sheet Flow

by Gert Aron, Pennsylvania State Univ, University Park, United States,
Thomas A. Smith, Pennsylvania State Univ, University Park, United States,
David B. Knipe, Pennsylvania State Univ, University Park, United States,



Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Hydraulic Engineering

Abstract: The concept of fractals, in simple terms, says that the patterns of natural features repeat themselves as the feature gets divided into successively smaller segments. In this paper, the reproducitility of stream patterns is tested by the use of the fractal dimension. The fractal concept is then applied to the drainage pattern of a watershed, in which swales begin infinitely small at the divide and become gradually larger as their drainage areas increase. As a result, the time of concentration is integrated over the total runoff path length.

Subject Headings: Sheet flow | Flow duration | Overland flow | Water flow | Fractals | Rivers and streams | Drainage | Watersheds

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