Top: Visual representation of a mathematical model of topographic potential for erosion and deposition of a terrain. Color represents the transport capacity of the surface showing its directional derivative (topographic potential for erosion and deposition). Potential for erosion is high where sediment transport capacity increases (red areas). Potential for deposition is high where transport capacity decreases (blue areas). Bottom: Three-dimensional view of an actual terrain that has been smoothed and vertically exaggerated. Colors represent the potential for erosion and deposition. The two images together allow evaluation of the relationship between the shape of the terrain and the results of the erosion/deposition model.
Source: Mitasova et al. (1996).