Tests of peak flow scaling in simulated self-similar river networks

Merab Menabde, Seth Veitzer, Vijay Gupta, Murugesu Sivapalan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The effect of linear flow routing incorporating attenuation and network topology on peak flow scaling exponent is investigated for an instantaneously applied uniform runoff on simulated deterministic and random self-similar channel networks. The flow routing is modelled by a linear mass conservation equation for a discrete set of channel links connected in parallel and series, and having the same topology as the channel network. A quasi-analytical solution for the unit hydrograph is obtained in terms of recursion relations. The analysis of this solution shows that the peak flow has an asymptotically scaling dependence on the drainage area for deterministic Mandelbrot-Vicsek (MV) and Peano networks, as well as for a subclass of random self-similar channel networks. However, the scaling exponent is shown to be different from that predicted by the scaling properties of the maxima of the width functions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)991-999
Number of pages9
JournalAdvances in Water Resources
Issue number9-10
StatePublished - Nov 2001
Externally publishedYes


  • Peak flow
  • Scaling
  • Self-similar networks

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Water Science and Technology


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