Self-affine roughening in a model experiment on erosion in geomorphology

A. Czirók, E. Somfai, T. Vicsek

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

15 Citations (Scopus)


The basic mechanisms producing rough surfaces during geomorphological evolution are studied by carrying out model experiments and analyzing the results in terms of fractal scaling. We have been able to find an experimental evidence for kinetic roughening in our micromodel of mountain ranges. We have observed that during the watering of an initially smooth ridge made of a mixture of granular materials, the surface evolves into a shape analogous to actual mountain profiles with self-affine geometry. For the exponents describing respectively the spatial and the temporal scaling of the surface width, α=0.78±0.05 and β≈0.9 have been obtained. Our value for the static exponent α is in very good agreement with several earlier results for various mountains and we have calculated the estimate α=0.8±0.1 for a set of genuine transect profiles taken in the Dolomites, Italy. The results are interpreted in terms of "landslides" of widely scattered magnitudes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)355-366
Number of pages12
JournalPhysica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications
Issue number1-3
Publication statusPublished - Apr 1 1994

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Statistics and Probability
  • Condensed Matter Physics

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