Dendritic Drainage Patterns Observed In-Flight

June 01, 2023


Photographer: Mark Ritter    

Summary Authors: Mark Ritter; Jim Foster

Featured above is a classic system of dendritic drainage patterns I observed on a flight from Ontario, California to Phoenix, Arizona one day this past winter. I was somewhere above western Arizona (perhaps around 25,000 ft or 7,620 m) when this picture was snapped. In general, dendritic drainage patterns form on surfaces, whether the size of a small yard or hundreds of miles across, that erode uniformly on gentle to moderate slopes. Notice how these patterns resemble branches of a tree, a result of tributaries flowing into larger channels that tend to form at acute angles.


Related Links:

Dendritic Drainage, Braided Channels and Self Similarity

Dendritic Drainage Patterns