Research Spotlight: What factors influence drainage patterns?


  • Mohi Kumar,

  • Ernie Tretkoff


Drainage density, a measure of how much the landscape is dissected by channels, is known to vary among different climates. The prevailing thought holds that drainage density is low in arid regions because of low runoff; it increases in semiarid regions as runoff increases, and then decreases in subhumid regions as expanding vegetation counteracts the erosive runoff. Extremely humid regions may have high drainage density because of variable and torrential precipitation regimes.