Abstract

The established morphometric relationships and measures permit the theoretical construction of an idealized drainage basin embodying the average linear, areal, and relief characteristics of a homogeneous geomorphic region. Such basins have been constructed from map data for two contrasting regions in which crystalline and metamorphic rocks maintain a high relief: the Unaka Mountains just east of the Great Smokies in Tennessee and North Carolina, and the Dartmoor region of England. The visual representation of these typical basins by means of block diagrams drawn to scale provides a useful tool for regional geomorphic description and comparison and helps to bridge the gulf between the quantitative and qualitative approaches to geomorphology.

The striking contrast in drainage densities between the two regions, on which most of the remaining morphometric differences hinge, is explained mainly on the basis of the consistently differing rainfall intensities which probably have been experienced by the Unaka Mountains and Dartmoor at least since the Miocene.

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