least-work profile

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  • Ecology and Conservation
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That profile whose gradient is just sufficient for the associated geomorphological process to occur with the minimum possible expenditure of energy. An example is a long river profile, whose concave-up form is the shape best suited for the transfer of increasing quantities of water and sediment in accordance with the least-work principle. Such a profile expresses a state of high entropy.

Subjects: Ecology and Conservation — Earth Sciences and Geography.

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