Acausal relations between topographic slope and drainage area
Article first published online: 9 JUL 2002
Copyright 2002 by the American Geophysical Union.
Geophysical Research Letters
Volume 29, Issue 13, pages 11-1–11-4, July 2002
How to Cite
Acausal relations between topographic slope and drainage area, Geophys. Res. Lett., 29(13), doi:10.1029/2002GL015144, 2002., and ,
- Issue published online: 9 JUL 2002
- Article first published online: 9 JUL 2002
- Manuscript Accepted: 22 APR 2002
- Manuscript Revised: 19 APR 2002
- Manuscript Received: 15 MAR 2002
 For real landscapes, the local slope is related to the area of the drainage basin. Such relations do not always indicate a causal link between drainage area and local slope. We provide a general and quantitative assessment of this statistical effect. Slope-area relations in which slopes decay slower than roughly the cube root of drainage area are insensitive to processes that have shaped the landscape. To illustrate this point, surfaces unrelated to erosion are compared to real landscapes. The fluctuations of slope for constant drainage area provide a means of distinguishing between causal and random effects.