Morphometric Analysis of Drainage Basins in the Western Arabian Peninsula Using Multivariate Statistics


The uplift of the Arabian Shield and the opening of the Red Sea led to the development of steep drainage systems in the Western Arabian Peninsula. Although the Peninsula has been studied from a geological perspective, in relation to oil production, plate tectonics and eolian systems such as sand dunes, the steep mountainous drainage basins have received much less attention. This paper aims to assess the characteristics and development of 36 drainage basins in the Western Arabian Peninsula, using a digital elevation model (DEM), principal component analysis (PCA), and hierarchical cluster analysis (CA). Three major principal components (PC1 to PC3) are found to explain 73% of total variance. CA divided the basins into two or four groups. The division by CA strongly reflects PC1, showing that the two analyses give comparable results. PC1 strongly reflects basin dimensions and drainage texture, and their positive correlations indicate the significant effect of basin relief and slope on mass wasting and limited stream incision in small basins under an arid climate. PC2 mainly reflects the effect of bedrock geology, suggesting that volcanic rocks tend to produce more elongated and less eroded immature basins than crystalline rocks do. PC3 mainly reflects the basin relief and slope and the length of each stream segment, which may also reflect the effect of mass wasting on stream development.

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Yunus, A. , Oguchi, T. and Hayakawa, Y. (2014) Morphometric Analysis of Drainage Basins in the Western Arabian Peninsula Using Multivariate Statistics. International Journal of Geosciences, 5, 527-539. doi: 10.4236/ijg.2014.55049.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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