Journal cover Journal topic
Earth Surface Dynamics An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
Journal topic

Journal metrics

Journal metrics

  • IF value: 3.928 IF 3.928
  • IF 5-year value: 3.864 IF 5-year
    3.864
  • CiteScore value: 6.2 CiteScore
    6.2
  • SNIP value: 1.469 SNIP 1.469
  • IPP value: 4.21 IPP 4.21
  • SJR value: 1.666 SJR 1.666
  • Scimago H <br class='hide-on-tablet hide-on-mobile'>index value: 21 Scimago H
    index 21
  • h5-index value: 23 h5-index 23
Volume 3, issue 2
Earth Surf. Dynam., 3, 251–264, 2015
https://doi.org/10.5194/esurf-3-251-2015
© Author(s) 2015. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
Earth Surf. Dynam., 3, 251–264, 2015
https://doi.org/10.5194/esurf-3-251-2015
© Author(s) 2015. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

Research article 04 Jun 2015

Research article | 04 Jun 2015

Decadal-scale soil redistribution along hillslopes in the Mojave Desert

O. Crouvi1,2, V. O. Polyakov3, J. D. Pelletier2, and C. Rasmussen4 O. Crouvi et al.
  • 1Geological Survey of Israel, 30 Malkhe Israel St., Jerusalem 95501, Israel
  • 2Department of Geosciences, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ 85721, USA
  • 3Southwest Watershed Research Center, USDA-ARS, 2000 E. Allen Rd., Tucson, AZ 85719, USA
  • 4Department of Soil, Water, and Environmental Science, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ 85721, USA

Abstract. This study estimates the relative magnitude of decadal-scale soil redistribution (i.e., soil loss or gain) by slope wash using 137Cs inventories measured in 46 soil profiles at four study sites in the Ft. Irwin area of the Mojave Desert of California, USA. The variability in 137Cs inventories on a <5 m scale suggests that even for the same topographic position, there is large variation in runoff generation and flow continuity. Smaller average 137Cs inventories that are suggestive of higher relative erosion rates are associated with more gently sloping sites that have a lower percentage of surficial rock-fragment and vegetation coverage. Individual 137Cs inventories from all four sites are positively correlated with the percentage of rock fragments in the upper soil profile. The increase in rock-fragment cover (i.e., soil armoring) with increasing slope gradient appears to negate any potential increase in transport effectiveness with increasing slope steepness. This armoring, together with the sandy-loam soil texture characteristic of steeper slopes, hinders runoff and slope-wash erosion. Our findings are supported by soil data that suggest that these patterns are persistent for longer timescales (i.e., centuries and millennia).

Publications Copernicus
Download
Citation