Minimizing the grid-resolution dependence of flow-routing algorithms for geomorphic applications

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28 Scopus citations


The results of flow-routing methods currently used in the geomorphic literature depend on grid resolution. This poses a problem for landscape evolution models, which must be independent of grid resolution to the greatest extent possible. Here I illustrate a refinement of currently-used flow-routing algorithms that yields unit contributing areas (i.e. contributing areas per unit width of flow) with minimal grid-resolution effects. I illustrate the application of this method in idealized topography, in high-resolution Digital Elevation Models (DEMs) of real-world topography, and by integration into a landscape evolution model for ridge-and-valley topography. The landscape evolution model produces grid-resolution-independent results in a more straightforward way than previous models for this type of landscape.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)91-98
Number of pages8
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Oct 2010


  • Flow routing
  • Fluvial processes
  • Numerical modeling
  • Raster-based algorithms

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Earth-Surface Processes


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