Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/npg-2021-4
https://doi.org/10.5194/npg-2021-4

  03 Mar 2021

03 Mar 2021

Review status: a revised version of this preprint was accepted for the journal NPG and is expected to appear here in due course.

Non-linear Hydrologic Organization

Allen Hunt1, Boris Faybishenko2, and Behzad Ghanbarian3 Allen Hunt et al.
  • 1Dept. of Physics, Wright State University, Dayton, OH 45435, USA
  • 2Energy Geosciences Division, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, University of California, 1 Cyclotron Rd., Berkeley CA, 94720, USA
  • 3Porous Media Research Lab, Department of Geology, Kansas State University, Manhattan KS 66506, USA

Abstract. We revisit three variants of the well-known Stommel diagrams that have been used to summarize knowledge of characteristic scales in time and space of some important hydrologic phenomena and modified these diagrams focusing on spatio-temporal scaling analyses of the underlying hydrologic processes. In the present paper we focus on soil formation, vegetation growth, and drainage network organization. We use existing scaling relationships for vegetation growth and soil formation, both of which refer to the same fundamental length and time scales defining flow rates at the pore scale, but different powers of the power-law relating time and space. The principle of a hierarchical organization of optimal subsurface flow paths could underlie both root lateral spread (rls) of vegetation and drainage basin organization. To assess the applicability of scaling, and to extend the Stommel diagrams, data for soil depth, vegetation root lateral spread, and drainage basin length have been accessed. The new data considered here include time scales out to 150 Myr that correspond to depths of up to 240 m and horizontal length scales up to 6400 km, and probe the limits of drainage basin development in time, depth, and horizontal extent.

Allen Hunt et al.

Status: closed

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • CC1: 'Comment on npg-2021-4', Hansjoerg Seybold, 31 May 2021
    • AC1: 'Reply on CC1', Allen G. Hunt, 01 Jun 2021
  • RC1: 'Comment on npg-2021-4', Anonymous Referee #1, 30 Jun 2021
    • AC2: 'Reply on RC1', Allen G. Hunt, 01 Jul 2021
  • RC2: 'Comment on npg-2021-4', Anonymous Referee #2, 21 Jul 2021
    • AC3: 'Reply on RC2', Allen G. Hunt, 21 Jul 2021

Status: closed

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • CC1: 'Comment on npg-2021-4', Hansjoerg Seybold, 31 May 2021
    • AC1: 'Reply on CC1', Allen G. Hunt, 01 Jun 2021
  • RC1: 'Comment on npg-2021-4', Anonymous Referee #1, 30 Jun 2021
    • AC2: 'Reply on RC1', Allen G. Hunt, 01 Jul 2021
  • RC2: 'Comment on npg-2021-4', Anonymous Referee #2, 21 Jul 2021
    • AC3: 'Reply on RC2', Allen G. Hunt, 21 Jul 2021

Allen Hunt et al.

Allen Hunt et al.

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Short summary
The same power-law we used to quantify growth of tree roots in time describes equally the assemblage of river networks in time. Even the basic length scale of both networks is the same. The one difference is that the basic time scale is 10 times shorter for drainage networks than for tree roots, since the relevant flow rate is ten times faster. This result overturns the understanding of drainage networks and forms a basis to organize thoughts about surface and subsurface hydrology.