Dynamic changes in the active portion of stream networks represent a phenomenon common to diverse climates and geologic settings. However, mechanistically describing these processes at the relevant spatiotemporal scales without huge computational burdens remains challenging. Here, we present a novel stochastic framework for the effective simulation of channel network dynamics capitalizing on the concept of 'hierarchical structuring of temporary streams'-a general principle to identify the activation/deactivation order of network nodes. The framework allows the long-term description of event-based changes of the river network configuration starting from widely available climatic data (mainly rainfall and evapotranspiration). Our results indicate that climate strongly controls temporal variations of the active length, influencing not only the preferential configuration of the active channels but also the speed of network retraction during drying. Moreover, we observed that-while the statistics of wet length are mainly dictated by the underlying climatic conditions-the spatial patterns of active reaches and the size of the largest connected patch of the network are strongly controlled by the spatial correlation of local persistency. The proposed framework provides a robust mathematical set-up for analysing the multi-faceted ecological legacies of channel network dynamics, as discussed in a companion paper.

Eco-hydrological modelling of channel network dynamics-part 1: stochastic simulation of active stream expansion and retraction

Durighetto, Nicola
;
Botter, Gianluca
2022

Abstract

Dynamic changes in the active portion of stream networks represent a phenomenon common to diverse climates and geologic settings. However, mechanistically describing these processes at the relevant spatiotemporal scales without huge computational burdens remains challenging. Here, we present a novel stochastic framework for the effective simulation of channel network dynamics capitalizing on the concept of 'hierarchical structuring of temporary streams'-a general principle to identify the activation/deactivation order of network nodes. The framework allows the long-term description of event-based changes of the river network configuration starting from widely available climatic data (mainly rainfall and evapotranspiration). Our results indicate that climate strongly controls temporal variations of the active length, influencing not only the preferential configuration of the active channels but also the speed of network retraction during drying. Moreover, we observed that-while the statistics of wet length are mainly dictated by the underlying climatic conditions-the spatial patterns of active reaches and the size of the largest connected patch of the network are strongly controlled by the spatial correlation of local persistency. The proposed framework provides a robust mathematical set-up for analysing the multi-faceted ecological legacies of channel network dynamics, as discussed in a companion paper.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11577/3466202
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