The relationship between catchment and hillslope properties: implications of a catchment evolution model Academic Article uri icon


  • A recently proposed model of catchment evolution is used as the basis to study the relationships between catchment and hillslope properties. The results highlight the interaction of the large-scale and small-scale features of the landscape. Tectonic uplift influences the catchment gradient, in turn influencing the hillslope gradient and thus the drainage density. But equally the hillslope ad channel gradients are related by sediment transport continuity so that catchment gradient is influenced by hillslope gradient. Neither the hillslope nor the channel network can be studied independently of the other. Catchment gradients are explicitly related to regional climatic and geologic conditions. Hillslope gradient and lenght are related via runoff and soil erosional properties. If hillslope gradient is known, then hillslope lenght and drainage density can be determined. In turn, drainage density can also be related to catchment scale properties. Via drainage density, it is then possible to obtain an explicit relationship between hillslope length and catchment gradient and area, lingking the basin's small-and large-scale features. © 1992.

author list (cited authors)

  • Willgoose, G., Bras, R. L., & Rodriguez-Iturbe, I.

citation count

  • 26

publication date

  • May 1992