Skip to main content

Morphology and Flow in Streams

  • Chapter
Limnological Analyses

Abstract

Streams are characterized by a continual downstream movement of water, dissolved substances, and suspended particles. These components are derived primarily from the drainage basin or watershed*, which is the total land area draining into a given stream channel. Thus the hydrological, chemical, and biological characteristics of a stream reflect the climate, geology, and vegetational cover of the drainage basin[cf., Beaumont (1975), Likens, et al. (1977), Hynes, (1970), Oglesby et al. (1972) and Whitton (1975)]. Water from rain or snow, falling on hilly or mountainous terrain, actually follows diverse routes in moving downhill (Fig. 5.1). Precipitation first may be intercepted by vegetation, then by litter on the surface of the ground. When water is added to the surface of a soil more rapidly than it can soak in (i.e., the infiltration capacity is exceeded) it will run off overland. Normally, most of the water from precipitation infiltrates into the soil. Soils have variable capacity to store water depending on depth, structure, composition, and other factors. Before stream flow can occur, this storage capacity must be exceeded. Storage capacity continually is made available by evaporation and transpiration (evapotranspiration). Until recently, limnologists have ignored, for the most part, the importance of hydrologic flow paths in regulating the metabolism and biogeochemistry of streams and lakes, as well as their role in the historical generation and accumulation of lake sediments [see Likens (1984)].

In American usage, watershed is equivalent to drainage basin or the European term, catchment, all of which refer to the region or area drained by a river system.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in via an institution to check access.

Access this chapter

Subscribe and save

Springer+ Basic
EUR 32.99 /Month
  • Get 10 units per month
  • Download Article/Chapter or Ebook
  • 1 Unit = 1 Article or 1 Chapter
  • Cancel anytime
Subscribe now

Buy Now

eBook
USD 9.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • Available as PDF
  • Read on any device
  • Instant download
  • Own it forever

Tax calculation will be finalised at checkout

Purchases are for personal use only

Institutional subscriptions

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  • Beaumont, P. 1975. Hydrology. pp. 1–38. In: B.A. Whitten, Editor. River Ecology. Studies in Ecology. Vol. 2. Univ. of California Press. Berkeley.

    Google Scholar 

  • Boyer, M.C. 1964. Section 15. Streamflow measurement. pp. 15–1 to 15–41. In: V.T. Chow Editor. Handbook of Applied Hydrology. McGraw-Hill, New York.

    Google Scholar 

  • Chorley, R.J. 1978. The hillslope hydrological cycle. pp. 1–42. In: M.J. Kirkby, Editor. Hillslope Hydrology. Wiley, Chichester.

    Google Scholar 

  • Cummins, K.W. 1962. An evaluation of some techniques for the collection and analysis of benthic samples with special emphasis on lotic waters. Amer. Midland Nat. 67: 477–504.

    Google Scholar 

  • Cummins, K.W. 1964. Factors limiting the microdistribution of larvae of the caddisflies Pycnopsyche lepida (Hogen) and Pycnopsyche guttifer (Walker) in a Michigan stream (Trichoptera: Limnephilidae). Ecol. Monogr. 34 (3): 271–295.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Davis, H.S. 1938. Instructions for conducting stream and lake surveys. Fishery Circular Bur. Fish. 26. 55 pp.

    Google Scholar 

  • Dunne, T. 1978. Field studies of hillslope flow processes. pp. 227–293. In: M.J. Kirkby, Editor. Hillslope Hydrology. Wiley, Chichester.

    Google Scholar 

  • Einsele, W. 1960. Die Strömungsgeschwindigkeit als beherrschender Faktor bei der limnologischen Gestaltung der Gewasser. Österreichs Fischerei 2: 1–40.

    Google Scholar 

  • Gregory, K.J. and D.E. Walling. 1973. Drainage Basin Form and Process. A Geomorphological Approach. Wiley, New York. 456 pp.

    Google Scholar 

  • Horton, R.E. 1945. Erosional development of streams and their drainage basins: hydrophysical approach to quantitative morphology. Bull. Geol. Soc. Amer. 56: 275–370.

    Google Scholar 

  • Hynes, H.B.N. 1970. The Ecology of Running Waters. Univ. of Toronto Press. 555 pp. Leopold, L.B., M.G. Wolman, and J.P. Miller, 1964. Fluvial Process in Geomorphology. Freeman, San Francisco. 522 pp.

    Google Scholar 

  • Likens, G.E. 1984. Beyond the shore line: A watershed-ecosystem approach. Verh. Int. Ver. Limnol. 22: 1–22.

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Likens, G.E., F.H. Bormann, R.S. Pierce, J.S. Eaton and N.M. Johnson. 1977. Biogeochemistry of a Forested Ecosystem. Springer-Verlag, New York. 146 pp.

    Book  Google Scholar 

  • Morisawa, M. 1968. Streams: Their Dynamics and Morphology. McGraw-Hill, New York. 175 pp.

    Google Scholar 

  • Oglesby, R.T., C.A. Carlson, and J.A. McCann (eds.). 1972. River Ecology and Man. Academic Press, New York. 465 pp.

    Google Scholar 

  • Strahler, A.N. 1952. Hypsometric (area-altitude) analysis of erosional topography. Bull. Geol. Soc. Amer. 63: 1117–1142.

    Google Scholar 

  • Strahler, A.N. 1964. Section 4-II Geology, Part II. Quantitative geomorphology of drainage basins and channel networks. pp. 4–39 to 4–76. In: V.T. Chow, Editor. Handbook of Applied Hydrology. McGraw-Hill, New York.

    Google Scholar 

  • Tice, R.H. 1968. Magnitude and frequency of floods in the United States. Part 1-B. North Atlantic Slope Basins, New York to York River. U.S. Geol. Survey Water-Supply Paper 1672, Washington, D.C. 585 pp.

    Google Scholar 

  • Welch, P.S. 1948. Limnological Methods. Blakiston, Philadelphia. 379 pp.

    Google Scholar 

  • Whitton, B.A. (ed.). 1975. River Ecology. Studies in Ecology. Vol. 2. Univ. of California Press, Berkeley. 725 pp.

    Google Scholar 

  • Winter, T.C. 1985. Physiographic setting and geologic origin of Mirror Lake. pp. 40–53. In: G.E. Likens, Editor. An Ecosystem Approach to Aquatic Ecology: Mirror Lake and its Environment. Springer-Verlag, New York.

    Chapter  Google Scholar 

  • Wisler, C.O. and E.F. Brater. 1949. Hydrology. 2nd Ed. Wiley, New York. 408 pp.

    Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations

Authors

Rights and permissions

Reprints and permissions

Copyright information

© 1991 Springer Science+Business Media New York

About this chapter

Cite this chapter

Wetzel, R.G., Likens, G.E. (1991). Morphology and Flow in Streams. In: Limnological Analyses. Springer, New York, NY. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4757-4098-1_5

Download citation

  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4757-4098-1_5

  • Publisher Name: Springer, New York, NY

  • Print ISBN: 978-1-4757-4100-1

  • Online ISBN: 978-1-4757-4098-1

  • eBook Packages: Springer Book Archive

Publish with us

Policies and ethics