Articles | Volume 3, issue 4
Earth Surf. Dynam., 3, 483–499, 2015
https://doi.org/10.5194/esurf-3-483-2015
Earth Surf. Dynam., 3, 483–499, 2015
https://doi.org/10.5194/esurf-3-483-2015

Research article 16 Oct 2015

Research article | 16 Oct 2015

Topographic roughness as a signature of the emergence of bedrock in eroding landscapes

D. T. Milodowski et al.

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Rock is exposed at the Earth surface when erosion rates locally exceed rates of soil production. This transition is marked by a diagnostic increase in topographic roughness, which we demonstrate can be a powerful indicator of the location of rock outcrop in a landscape. Using this to explore how hillslopes in two landscapes respond to increasing erosion rates, we find that the transition from soil-mantled to bedrock hillslopes is patchy and spatially heterogeneous.