Energy dissipation, runoff production, and the threedimensional structure of river basins Academic Article uri icon


  • Three principles of optimal energy expenditure are used to derive the most important structural characteristics observed in drainage networks: (1) the principle of minimum energy expenditure in any link of the network, (2) the principle of equal energy expenditure per unit area of channel anywhere in the network, and (3) the principle of minimum total energy expenditure in the network as a whole. Their joint application results in a unified picture of the most important empirical facts which have been observed in the dynamics of the network and its threedimensional structure. They also link the process of runoff production in the basin with the characteristics of the network. Copyright 1992 by the American Geophysical Union.

published proceedings

  • Water Resources Research

altmetric score

  • 3

author list (cited authors)

  • RodrguezIturbe, I., Rinaldo, A., Rigon, R., Bras, R. L., Marani, A., & IjjszVsquez, E.

citation count

  • 242

complete list of authors

  • Rodríguez-Iturbe, Ignacio||Rinaldo, Andrea||Rigon, Riccardo||Bras, Rafael L||Marani, Alessandro||Ijjász-Vásquez, Ede
  • Rodríguez‐Iturbe, Ignacio||Rinaldo, Andrea||Rigon, Riccardo||Bras, Rafael L||Marani, Alessandro||Ijjász‐Vásquez, Ede

publication date

  • April 1992