Multiscale structure of meanders

B. Vermeulen, A.J.F. Hoitink, G. Zolezzi, J.D. Abad, R. Aalto

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)
96 Downloads (Pure)


River meander planforms can be described based on wavelet analysis, but an objective method to identify the main characteristics of a meander planform over all spatial scales is yet to be found. Here we show how a set of simple metrics representing meander shape can be retrieved from a continuous wavelet transform of a planform geometry. We construct a synoptic multiple looping tree to establish the meander structure, revealing the embedding of dominant meander scales in larger-scale loops. The method can be applied beyond the case of rivers to unravel the meandering structure of lava flows, turbidity currents, tidal channels, rivulets, supraglacial streams, and extraterrestrial flows.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3288-3297
JournalGeophysical research letters
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 2016


  • METIS-319257
  • IR-104329


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