Drainage Density & Factors Affecting It
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Drainage density refers to the frequency of streams on the land/drainage basin. In technical terms drainage density is the length of all streams divided by the drainage basin area ∑L/A (L= stream length, A= catchment area). It is measured in km/km2. The drainage density or frequency of streams is influenced by varying factors such as:
Climate: Regions with high amounts of rainfall tend to have high drainage densitiies.
Surface nature: Permeable surfaces allow water to infiltrate through and result in lower drainage densities.
Vegetation cover: Vegetation impedes , intercepts and stores water limiting the contribution to streams. Drainage basins with sparse vegetation cover have relatively high drainage densities.
Relief: Steep terrains favor high amounts runoff than gentle undulating terrains which promotes infiltration.