Preprint Article Version 1 Preserved in Portico This version is not peer-reviewed

A Fractal Description of Fluvial Networks in Chile: a Geography not as Crazy as Thought

Version 1 : Received: 29 December 2021 / Approved: 29 December 2021 / Online: 29 December 2021 (15:57:16 CET)

How to cite: Martinez, F.; Manriquez, H.; Ojeda, A.; Olea, G. A Fractal Description of Fluvial Networks in Chile: a Geography not as Crazy as Thought. Preprints 2021, 2021120471 (doi: 10.20944/preprints202112.0471.v1). Martinez, F.; Manriquez, H.; Ojeda, A.; Olea, G. A Fractal Description of Fluvial Networks in Chile: a Geography not as Crazy as Thought. Preprints 2021, 2021120471 (doi: 10.20944/preprints202112.0471.v1).

Abstract

Chilean geography is highly variable, not only from a climatic and hydrological point of view, but also a morphological one, showing unpredictable natural patterns with marked contrasts throughout the country, for which sometimes it is considered as a "crazy" geography. In this paper we have investigated this apparent disorganized character by exploring the fractal properties of fluvial networks extracted from basins distributed across the continental territory. Analytical and semi-empirical methods were applied, finding striking patterns of organization in the distributions of Horton parameters and the fractal dimension of the drainage networks. Fractal dimension reveals to be quite dependent on the drainage area of each unit, showing clear groupings by tectonic and climatological factors. Such dimension reveals to be an important geomorphic parameter, if not the only one able to capture the real morphology of a fluvial network. From our results and despite the diversity of landforms, hydrological, climatic and tectonic conditions, Chilean’s geography is perhaps not as crazy and disorganized as believed.

Keywords

fluvial networks; Chilean’s watersheds; monofractal dimension; morphometry; structural control

Subject

EARTH SCIENCES, Geophysics

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