Wyoming- Dendritic Drainage
         
                  Geology Exploration Using Google Earth
Cochise College                                                                                        
Geology Home Page 
Geology Exploration Using Google Earth
Roger Weller, geology instructor 
(
wellerr@cochise.edu )

last edited:  3/13/17               23 views

     
One of the most common patterns exhibited by streams and rivers is called
dendritic drainage.  Dendros, the root word, means tree.  This drainage pattern
is definitely tree-like with smaller branches attached to larger branches.


   
 The following photograph is a dendritic drainage basin in Central Wyoming. 
The source of the photograph is Google Earth.  The length of the basin is
approximately 6 miles.  In order to better see the dendritic pattern the contrast
was increased.


 
latitude:  43.822     longitude:  -106.329
 photo credits:  Google Earth
 

     To better see the dendritic pattern, the measuring tool supplied with Google Earth was used as a
drawing tool to produce the following picture.  Over 2000 linear segments comprise the following diagram. 
Bright yellow was used to color the lines; this color works best on mapping on top of Google Earth
photographs.  The dendritic drainage pattern is now much easier to see.





     In the next view, I outlined the drainage basin using white lines.  All of the streams within the basin
contribute to the main large stream.





    The background photograph still obscures the dendritic pattern.  Using another one of the tools that
accompanies Google Earth, time of day, I set the view to night-time, turning most of the photograph black. 
The colored lines that were used to trace the dendritic pattern remained unchanged, producing a dramatic
view.  This would be a good illustration for a web presentation, but not for a printed article; too much
black ink would be needed.




     For a printable map, just reverse the colors.  Note that the yellow lines turn blue and the white lines
turn black.



Additional Applications of Google Earth Mapping
        
Dendritic Basin and Surrounding Basins   (6 views)
            Concept of a Divide 
(4 views)
            All Basins Outlined
  (4 views)
            Stream Order and Mapping Exercise  (2 views)    
            Stream Order Map Project  (1 view)     

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