Scaling and universality in river flow dynamics
Laboratorio sui Sistemi Complessi, Scuola Superiore di Catania - Via Valdisavoia 9, 95123 Catania, Italy, EU
2 Dipartimento di Fisica e Astronomia, Università di Catania, and INFN - Via S. Sofia 64, 95123 Catania, Italy, EU
Accepted: 19 April 2011
We investigate flow dynamics in rivers characterized by basin areas and daily mean discharge spanning different orders of magnitude. We show that the delayed increments evaluated at time scales ranging from days to months can be opportunely rescaled to the same non-Gaussian probability density function. Such a scaling breaks up above a certain critical horizon, where a behavior typical of thermodynamic systems at the critical point emerges. We finally show that both the scaling behavior and the break-up of the scaling are universal features of river flow dynamics.
PACS: 89.75.Da – Systems obeying scaling laws / 92.40.Qk – Surface water, water resources / 05.40.-a – Fluctuation phenomena, random processes, noise, and Brownian motion
© EPLA, 2011