River Meandering as a Self-Organization Process

  title={River Meandering as a Self-Organization Process},
  author={H. H. Stolum},
  pages={1710 - 1713}
  • H. Stolum
  • Published 22 March 1996
  • Physics
  • Science
Simulations of freely meandering rivers and empirical data show that the meandering process self-organizes the river morphology, or planform, into a critical state characterized by fractal geometry. The meandering process oscillates in space and time between a state in which the river planform is ordered and one in which it is chaotic. Clusters of river cutoffs tend to cause a transition between these two states and to force the system into stationary fluctuations around the critical state. 

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