Impact of Perturbations on Watersheds

E. Fehr, D. Kadau, J. S. Andrade, H. J. Herrmann
2011 Physical Review Letters  
We find that watersheds in real and artificial landscapes can be strongly affected by small, local perturbations like landslides or tectonic motions. We observe power-law scaling behavior for both the distribution of areas enclosed by the original and the displaced watershed as well as the probability density to induce, after perturbation, a change at a given distance. Scaling exponents for real and artificial landscapes are determined, where in the latter case the exponents depend linearly on
more » ... depend linearly on the Hurst exponent of the applied fractional Brownian noise. The obtained power-laws are shown to be independent on the strength of perturbation. Theoretical arguments relate our scaling laws for uncorrelated landscapes to properties of invasion percolation.
doi:10.1103/physrevlett.106.048501 pmid:21405368 fatcat:6ldsgpi32zcp7aes4yskuly3ce