stream power

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The rate at which a stream can do work, especially the transport of its load, and measured over a specific length. It is largely a function of channel slope and discharge and is expressed by Ω = γQs, where Ω is the power, γ is the specific weight of water, Q is the discharge, and s is the slope. Streams tend to adjust their flow and channel geometry in order to minimize their power (see least-work principle).

Subjects: Ecology and Conservation — Earth Sciences and Geography.

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