Fractal structures as least energy patterns: The case of river networks Academic Article uri icon


  • Natural drainage networks, like river basins, exhibit fractal and multifractal properties. This work shows that these properties evolve from arbitrary initial conditions by minimizing the local and global rates of energy expenditure in the system. This suggests that many fractal structures may arise as a natural consequence of least energy dissipation requirements. Copyright 1992 by the American Geophysical Union.

published proceedings

  • Geophysical Research Letters

author list (cited authors)

  • RodriguezIturbe, I., Rinaldo, A., Rigon, R., Bras, R. L., IjjaszVasquez, E., & Marani, A.

citation count

  • 138

complete list of authors

  • Rodriguez‐Iturbe, Ignacio||Rinaldo, Andrea||Rigon, Riccardo||Bras, Rafael L||Ijjasz‐Vasquez, Ede||Marani, Alessandro

publication date

  • May 1992