Articles | Volume 26, issue 12
Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci., 26, 3125–3150, 2022
https://doi.org/10.5194/hess-26-3125-2022
Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci., 26, 3125–3150, 2022
https://doi.org/10.5194/hess-26-3125-2022
Research article
 | Highlight paper
21 Jun 2022
Research article  | Highlight paper | 21 Jun 2022

Morphological controls on surface runoff: an interpretation of steady-state energy patterns, maximum power states and dissipation regimes within a thermodynamic framework

Samuel Schroers et al.

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Manuscript not accepted for further review
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Cited articles

Abrahams, A. D., Parsons, A. J., and Shiu-Hung, L.: Field experiments on the resistance to overland flow on desert hillslopes, in: Erosion, Transport and Deposition Processes, Proceedings of the Jerusalem Workshop, March–April 1987, Jerusalem, IAHS Publ. 189, 1990. 
Abrahams, A. D., Parsons, J. D., and Wainwright, J.: Resistance to overland flow on semiarid grassland and shrubland hillslopes, Walnut Gulch, southern Arizona, J. Hydrol., 156, 431–446, 1994. 
Achten, W. M. J., Dondeyne, S., Mugogo, S., Kafiriti, E., Poesen, J., Deckers, J., and Muys, B.: Gully erosion in South Eastern Tanzania: spatial distribution and topographic thresholds, Z. Geomorphol., 52, 225–235, https://doi.org/10.1127/0372-8854/2008/0052-0225, 2008. 
Ali, M., Sterk, G., Seeger, M., Boersema, M., and Peters, P.: Effect of hydraulic parameters on sediment transport capacity in overland flow over erodible beds, Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci., 16, 591–601, https://doi.org/10.5194/hess-16-591-2012, 2012. 
Bagnold, R. A.: An approach to the sediment transport problem from general physics, US Geol. Surv. Prof. Paper 422-I, US Geological Survey, https://pubs.usgs.gov/pp/0422i/report.pdf (last access: 15 June 2022), 1966. 
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Executive editor
The paper presents an original and innovative approach to understand hillslope processes linking hillslope surface flow, drainage structure formation, and erosion processes to thermodynamics. I consider that the topic is very important in understanding why simple parsimonious empirical methods work in nature.
Short summary
In hydrology the formation of landform patterns is of special interest as changing forcings of the natural systems, such as climate or land use, will change these structures. In our study we developed a thermodynamic framework for surface runoff on hillslopes and highlight the differences of energy conversion patterns on two related spatial and temporal scales. The results indicate that surface runoff on hillslopes approaches a maximum power state.