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Robert Elmer Horton Robert Elmer Horton was an American ecologist and soil scientist, considered by many to be the

father of modern hydrology. Having realized early in his career that the physical character of terrain played a large role in determining runoff patterns, he resolved to isolate the physical factors affecting runoff and flood discharge. He believed these to include drainage density, channel slope, overland flow length, and other less important factors. However, late in his career, he began to advocate a very different mechanism of "hydrophysical" geomorphology, which he believed better explained his prior observations.

The Stream Order The stream order hierarchy was officially proposed in 1952 by Arthur Newell Strahler, a geoscience professor at Columbia University in New York City, in his article Hypsometric (Area Altitude) Analysis of Erosional Topology. The article, which appeared in the Geological Society of America Bulletin outlined the order of streams as a way to define the size of perennial (a stream with water its bed continuously throughout the year) and recurring (a stream with water in its bed only part of the year) streams. When using stream order to classify a stream, the sizes range from a first order stream all the way to the largest, a 12th order stream. A first order stream is the smallest of the world's streams and consists of small tributaries. These are the streams that flow into and "feed" larger streams but do not normally have any water flowing into them. In addition, first and second order streams generally form on steep slopes and flow quickly until they slow down and meet the next order waterway. First through third order streams are also called headwater streams and constitute any waterways in the upper reaches of the watershed. It is estimated that over 80% of the worlds waterways are these first through third order, or headwater streams.

Drainage Density Drainage density is the total length of all the streams and rivers in a drainage basin divided by the total area of the drainage basin. It is a measure of how well or how poorly a watershed is drained by stream channels. It is equal to the reciprocal of the constant of channel maintenance and equal to the reciprocal of two times the length of overland flow. Drainage density depends upon both climate and physical characteristics of the drainage basin. Soil permeability (infiltration difficulty) and underlying rock type affect the runoff in a watershed; impermeable ground or exposed bedrock will lead to an increase in surface water runoff and therefore to more frequent streams. Rugged regions or those with high relief will also have a higher drainage density than other drainage basins if the other characteristics of the basin are the same.

Drainage Basin A drainage basin or watershed is an extent or an area of land where surface water from rain and melting snow or ice converges to a single point at a lower elevation, usually the exit of the basin, where the waters join another water body, such as a river, lake, reservoir, estuary, wetland, sea, or ocean. Braided streams are created when the discharge of water cannot transport its load. When there is a decrease in stream velocity sediment is deposited on the floor of the channel creating bars. The bars

separate the channel into several smaller channels creating a braided appearance. Braided channels are common in glaciated or recently glaciated landscapes where streams are fed by debris-choked melt water A meandering stream migrates laterally by sediment erosion on the outside of the meander (that is part of the friction work), and deposition on the inside (helicoidal flow, deceleration, channel lag, point bar sequence, fining upwards). Adjacent to the channel levee deposits build up, and gradually raise up the river over the floodplain (mainly fine sediments). If the climate is humid the floodplain area beyond the levees may be covered with water most of the time, and may form a swamp (backswamp). Rivers that want to enter the main stream may not make it up the levee, and empty either into the backswamp (filing it up gradually) or flow parallel to the stream for a long distance until they finally join (yazoo streams).

Straight Streams Straight streams are the first of a simple three part classification by early geomorphologists,. Many human constructed channels are straigt and without step-pool sequences,therby increasing the ifficiecy of moving flood waters from the area, but likely causing downstream scour due to excessive energy and shear forces.