Articles | Volume 12, issue 2
Research article
28 Mar 2024
Research article |  | 28 Mar 2024

A physics-based model for fluvial valley width

Jens Martin Turowski, Aaron Bufe, and Stefanie Tofelde

Related authors

A global dataset of the shape of drainage systems
Chuanqi He, Ci-Jian Yang, Jens M. Turowski, Richard F. Ott, Jean Braun, Hui Tang, Shadi Ghantous, Xiaoping Yuan, and Gaia Stucky de Quay
Earth Syst. Sci. Data, 16, 1151–1166,,, 2024
Short summary
Sourcing and Long-Range Transport of Particulate Organic Matter in River Bedload: Rio Bermejo, Argentina
Sophia Dosch, Niels Hovius, Marisa Repasch, Joel Scheingross, Jens M. Turowski, Stefanie Tofelde, Oliver Rach, and Dirk Sachse
EGUsphere,,, 2023
Short summary
Geotechnical controls on erodibility in fluvial impact erosion
Jens M. Turowski, Gunnar Pruß, Anne Voigtländer, Andreas Ludwig, Angela Landgraf, Florian Kober, and Audrey Bonnelye
Earth Surf. Dynam., 11, 979–994,,, 2023
Short summary
Mobile evaporite enhances the cycle of physical–chemical erosion in badlands
Ci-Jian Yang, Pei-Hao Chen, Erica D. Erlanger, Jens M. Turowski, Sen Xu, Tse-Yang Teng, Jiun-Chuan Lin, and Jr-Chuang Huang
Earth Surf. Dynam., 11, 475–486,,, 2023
Short summary
Controls on the grain size distribution of landslides in Taiwan: the influence of drop height, scar depth and bedrock strength
Odin Marc, Jens M. Turowski, and Patrick Meunier
Earth Surf. Dynam., 9, 995–1011,,, 2021
Short summary

Related subject area

Physical: Geomorphology (including all aspects of fluvial, coastal, aeolian, hillslope and glacial geomorphology)
Evolution of submarine canyons and hanging-wall fans: insights from geomorphic experiments and morphodynamic models
Steven Y. J. Lai, David Amblas, Aaron Micallef, and Hervé Capart
Earth Surf. Dynam., 12, 621–640,,, 2024
Short summary
Riverine sediment response to deforestation in the Amazon basin
Anuska Narayanan, Sagy Cohen, and John R. Gardner
Earth Surf. Dynam., 12, 581–599,,, 2024
Short summary
Physical modeling of ice-sheet-induced salt movements using the example of northern Germany
Jacob Hardt, Tim P. Dooley, and Michael R. Hudec
Earth Surf. Dynam., 12, 559–579,,, 2024
Short summary
Downstream rounding rate of pebbles in the Himalaya
Prakash Pokhrel, Mikael Attal, Hugh D. Sinclair, Simon M. Mudd, and Mark Naylor
Earth Surf. Dynam., 12, 515–536,,, 2024
Short summary
Implications for the resilience of modern coastal systems derived from mesoscale barrier dynamics at Fire Island, New York
Daniel J. Ciarletta, Jennifer L. Miselis, Julie C. Bernier, and Arnell S. Forde
Earth Surf. Dynam., 12, 449–475,,, 2024
Short summary

Cited articles

Abdrakhmatov, K. Y., Aldazhanov, S. A., Hager, B. H., Hamburger, M. W., Herring, T. A., Kalabaev, K. B., Makarov, V. I., Molnar, P., Panasyuk, S. V., Prilepin, M. T., Reilinger, R. E., Sadybakasov, I. S., Souter, B. J., Trapeznikov, Y. A., Tsurkov, V. Y., and Zubovich, A. V.: Relatively recent construction of the Tian Shan inferred from GPS measurements of present-day crustal deformation rates, Nature, 384, 450–453,, 1996. 
Appledorn, M. v., Baker, M. E., and Miller, A. J.: River-valley morphology, basin size, and flow-event magnitude interact to produce wide variation in flooding dynamics, Ecosphere, 10, e02546,, 2019. 
Avouac, J. P., Tapponnier, P., Bai, P., You, M., and Wang G.: Active thrusting and folding along the northern Tien Shan and Late Cenozoic rotation of the Tarim relative to Dzungaria and Kazakhstan, J. Geophys. Res.-Sol. Ea., 4, 11791–11808,, 1993. 
Baker, M. E. and Wiley, M. J.: Multiscale control of flooding and riparian-forest composition in Lower Michigan, USA, Ecology, 90, 145–159,, 2009. 
Barnhart, K. R., Hutton, E. W. H., Tucker, G. E., Gasparini, N. M., Istanbulluoglu, E., Hobley, D. E. J., Lyons, N. J., Mouchene, M., Nudurupati, S. S., Adams, J. M., and Bandaragoda, C.: Short communication: Landlab v2.0: a software package for Earth surface dynamics, Earth Surf. Dynam., 8, 379–397,, 2020. 
Short summary
Fluvial valleys are ubiquitous landforms, and understanding their formation and evolution affects a wide range of disciplines from archaeology and geology to fish biology. Here, we develop a model to predict the width of fluvial valleys for a wide range of geographic conditions. In the model, fluvial valley width is controlled by the two competing factors of lateral channel mobility and uplift. The model complies with available data and yields a broad range of quantitative predictions.