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Title: The Abundance, Size, and Spacing of Lakes and Reservoirs Connected to River Networks

Descriptions of river network topology do not include lakes/reservoirs that are connected to rivers. We describe the properties and scaling patterns of river network topology across the contiguous United States: how lake/reservoir abundance, median lake/reservoir size, and median lake/reservoir spacing change with river size. Typically, lake/reservoir abundance decreases, median lake/reservoir size increases, but median lake/reservoir spacing is uniform across river size. There is a characteristic lake/reservoir size of 0.01–0.05 km2and a characteristic lake/reservoir spacing of 1–5 km that shifts to 27–61 km in larger rivers. Climate explains more of the variance in river network topology than both glacial history and constructed reservoirs. Our results provide conceptual models for building river network topologies to assess how lake/reservoir abundance, size, and spacing effect the transport, storage, and cycling of water, materials, and organisms across networks.

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Award ID(s):
Author(s) / Creator(s):
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Publisher / Repository:
DOI PREFIX: 10.1029
Date Published:
Journal Name:
Geophysical Research Letters
Page Range / eLocation ID:
p. 2592-2601
Medium: X
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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