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What mainly controls recession flows in river basins?

Biswal, Basudev and Kumar, Nagesh D (2014) What mainly controls recession flows in river basins? In: ADVANCES IN WATER RESOURCES, 65 . pp. 25-33.

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.advwatres.2014.01.001


The ubiquity of the power law relationship between dQ/dt and Q for recession periods (-dQ/dt kQ(alpha); Q being discharge at the basin outlet at time t) clearly hints at the existence of a dominant recession flow process that is common to all real basins. It is commonly assumed that a basin, during recession events, functions as a single phreatic aquifer resting on a impermeable horizontal bed or the Dupuit-Boussinesq (DB) aquifer, and with time different aquifer geometric conditions arise that give different values of alpha and k. The recently proposed alternative model, geomorphological recession flow model, however, suggests that recession flows are controlled primarily by the dynamics of the active drainage network (ADN). In this study we use data for several basins and compare the above two contrasting recession flow models in order to understand which of the above two factors dominates during recession periods in steep basins. Particularly, we do the comparison by selecting three key recession flow properties: (1) power law exponent alpha, (2) dynamic dQ/dt-Q relationship (characterized by k) and (3) recession timescale (time period for which a recession event lasts). Our observations suggest that neither drainage from phreatic aquifers nor evapotranspiration significantly controls recession flows. Results show that the value of a and recession timescale are not modeled well by DB aquifer model. However, the above mentioned three recession curve properties can be captured satisfactorily by considering the dynamics of the ADN as described by geomorphological recession flow model, possibly indicating that the ADN represents not just phreatic aquifers but the organization of various sub-surface storage systems within the basin. (C) 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Item Type: Journal Article
Additional Information: Copyright for this article belongs to the ELSEVIER SCI LTD, ENGLAND
Keywords: Recession curves; Power law; Dupuit-Boussinesq aquifer; Active drainage network
Department/Centre: Division of Mechanical Sciences > Civil Engineering
Date Deposited: 11 Apr 2014 09:48
Last Modified: 11 Apr 2014 09:48
URI: http://eprints.iisc.ac.in/id/eprint/48827

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