Articles | Volume 11, issue 2
Research article
18 Apr 2023
Research article |  | 18 Apr 2023

The story of a summit nucleus: hillslope boulders and their effect on erosional patterns and landscape morphology in the Chilean Coastal Cordillera

Emma Lodes, Dirk Scherler, Renee van Dongen, and Hella Wittmann


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Short summary
We explored the ways that boulders and bedrock affect the shapes of hills and valleys by testing how quickly they erode compared to soil. We found that bedrock and boulders mostly erode more slowly than soil and predict that fracture patterns affect where they exist. We also found that streams generally follow fault orientations. Together, our data imply that fractures influence landscapes by weakening bedrock, causing it to erode faster and to eventually form a valley where a stream may flow.