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Drainage System and Patterns

Drainage System
Descriptive Approach Genetic Approach

Streams and Stream Systems


Valleys and interfluves
Valleyportion of terrain in which a drainage system is established Interfluvehigher land above valley walls that separates adjacent valleys

Drainage basins
Watersheds Areas that drain to the valley Drainage divide
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Streams and Stream Systems


Stream orders
Small streams join larger ones Relationship called stream orders First order versus second and third order Smaller numbers in stream order are more frequent Larger numbers are longer in length and watershed order

Stream Order

Drainage Basin

Consequent Stream: A stream following the slope. Development of slope may be due to sudden tectonic uplift

Subsequent Stream: A stream that develops later on, carving the softer rocks and flow at almost right angle to the original slope of the land

Consequent streams are streams whose course is a direct consequence of the original slope of the surface. Subsequent formed by selective headward erosion along weak strata. Resequent streams are streams whose course follows the original relief, but at a lower level than the original slope. Obsequent streams are streams flowing in the opposite direction of the consequent drainage.

Antecedental Stream

Superimposed Stream

Factors affecting infiltration capacity


Geology (Rock or soil type)
Hard, resistant rocks (granitic rock): low density Weak rocks (shale and clay): high density Permeable rocks or soil (sand): low density Impermeable rocks or soil (clay): high density

Topography
Steep slope: high density Gentle slope: low density

Vegetation
Forest: low density Farmland: medium density Badland /desert: high density

Climate
High rainfall: high density Light rainfall: low density

Drainage patterns
Drainage patterns are largely controlled by two factors
Slopes of the drainage area Local differences in the resistance of rocks or geological structures (faults.)

Drainage Patterns
Dendritic Pattern Rectangular Pattern Trellised Pattern Radial Pattern Centripetal

Dendritic Pattern
Tree-like, random branching pattern developed in a region of uniform or homogeneous rock.

Huan River, China

Rectangular Pattern
It is a rectilinear or grid-like pattern developed in a region with strong marked joint systems or faults at approximately right angles.

Gotel Mountains, Nigeria and Cameroon

Trellised Pattern
It is a rectilinear stream pattern developed in region of alternate layers of resistant and less resistant rocks which dip in the same direction. The streams join one another at right angles

Radial Pattern
A radial pattern of drainage is a stream pattern developed on a structure dome, volcanic cone, uplifted fault block or a conical hill.

Kyushu, Japan

Centripetal Pattern
It consists of streams drainage from different directions towards the centre of a depression or basin. It is very common in inland drainage system, where streams terminate in a lake at the centre. Streams in intermontane basin or desert basins often develop this pattern.

Drainage Basin

Drainage Density
Total stream channel length Drainage Density

l D A
Area of the Drainage Basin

Drainage Density

l D A

Work with a partner to determine the drainage density!

Drainage Density (Solution)


l (10km 3km 2km 4 km) (19km) .103 1 D .104 km A 183km2 183km2 km