The geomorphologic structure of hydrologic response


  • Ignacio Rodríguez-Iturbe,

  • Juan B. Valdés


A unifying synthesis of the hydrologic response of a catchment to surface runoff is attempted by linking the instantaneous unit hydrograph (IUH) with the geomorphologic parameters of a basin. Equations of general character are derived which express the IUH as a function of Horton's numbers RA, RB, and RL; an internal scale parameter LΩ and a mean velocity of streamflow v. The IUH is time varying in character both throughout the storm and for different storms. This variability is accounted for by the variability in the mean streamflow velocity. The underlying unity in the nature of the geomorphologic structure is thus carried over to the great variety of hydrologic responses that occur in nature. An approach is initiated to the problem of hydrologic similarity.