Exploring the sensitivity on a soil area-slope-grading relationship to changes in process parameters using a pedogenesis model
Abstract. This paper generalises the physical dependence of the relationship between contributing area, local slope, and the surface soil grading using a pedogenesis model and allows an exploration of soilscape self-organisation. A parametric study was carried out using different parent materials, erosion, and weathering mechanisms. These simulations confirmed the generality of the area-slope-d50 relationship. The relationship is also true for other statistics of soil grading (e.g. d10,d90) and robust for different depths within the profile. For small area-slope regimes (i.e. hillslopes with small areas and/or slopes) only the smallest particles can be mobilised by erosion and the area-slope-d50 relationship appears to reflect the erosion model and its Shield's Stress threshold. For higher area-slope regimes, total mobilization of the entire soil grading occurs and self-organisation reflects the relative entrainment of different size fractions. Occasionally the interaction between the in-profile weathering and surface erosion draws the bedrock to the surface and forms a bedrock outcrop. The study also shows the influence on different depth-dependent in-profile weathering functions in the formation of the equilibrium soil profile and the grading characteristics of the soil within the profile. We outline the potential of this new model and its ability to numerically explore soil and landscape properties.