Journal of Resources and Ecology ›› 2017, Vol. 8 ›› Issue (2): 165-173.DOI: 10.5814/j.issn.1674-764x.2017.02.007

Previous Articles     Next Articles

The Fractal Characteristics of Drainage Networks and Erosion Evolution Stages of Ten Kongduis in the Upper Reaches of the Yellow River, China

YANG Hui1, 2, SHI Changxing1,*   

  1. 1. Key Laboratory of Water Cycle and Related Land Surface Processes, Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100101,China;
    2. University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
  • Received:2017-01-19 Online:2017-03-28 Published:2017-03-28
  • Contact: SHI Changxing, E-mail:
  • Supported by:
    National Natural Science Foundation of China (41371036).

Abstract: The fractal characteristics of drainage in the ten kongduis of the upper Yellow River were obtained using the box counting dimension, and the evolution stages of the watershed topography were defined by different ranges of the fractal dimensions of river networks (Dg). The results show that the fractal scaleless range of the Maobula River is 20–370 m based on a combination of artificial judgment, correlation coefficient test and fitting error. Other kongduis show good fractal characteristics in this fractal scaleless range as well. The box counting dimension can be used as a quantitative index of watershed topography fractal characteristics. The fractal dimension of stream networks is independent of the threshold contributing area used for extracting the drainage networks from the DEM. The values of Dg in the upper ten kongduis are in the range of 1.08?1.14. Both the runoff yield and the sediment yield are positively and linearly related with Dg. The positive relation between the sediment yield and Dg reflects the effect of landform features on sediment yield in the young and/or mature stages of landform evolution of the study area. By revising the critical value of Dg, the value of Dg of the basin in the young evolution stage is less than 1.06, while it is more than 1.06 for the basin in mature or old evolution stage. The upper ten kongduis are in the mature stage of landform evolution.

Key words: landform evolution stage, runoff yield, sediment yield, fractal dimension, Ten kongduis