Articles | Volume 5, issue 2
Earth Surf. Dynam., 5, 311–330, 2017
https://doi.org/10.5194/esurf-5-311-2017
Earth Surf. Dynam., 5, 311–330, 2017
https://doi.org/10.5194/esurf-5-311-2017

Research article 20 Jun 2017

Research article | 20 Jun 2017

A probabilistic framework for the cover effect in bedrock erosion

Jens M. Turowski and Rebecca Hodge

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Aubert, G., Langlois, V. J., and Allemand, P.: Bedrock incision by bedload: insights from direct numerical simulations, Earth Surf. Dynam., 4, 327–342, https://doi.org/10.5194/esurf-4-327-2016, 2016.
Beer, A. R. and Turowski, J. M.: Bedload transport controls bedrock erosion under sediment-starved conditions, Earth Surf. Dynam., 3, 291–309, https://doi.org/10.5194/esurf-3-291-2015, 2015.
Beer, A. R., Turowski, J. M., Fritschi, B., and Rieke-Zapp, D. H.: Field instrumentation for high-resolution parallel monitoring of bedrock erosion and bedload transport, Earth Surf. Proc. Land., 40, 530–541, https://doi.org/10.1002/esp.3652, 2015.
Beer, A. R., Kirchner, J. W., and Turowski, J. M.: Graffiti for science – erosion painting reveals spatially variable erosivity of sediment-laden flows, Earth Surf. Dynam., 4, 885–894, https://doi.org/10.5194/esurf-4-885-2016, 2016.
Charru, F., Mouilleron, H., and Eiff, O.: Erosion and deposition of particles on a bed sheared by a viscous flow, J. Fluid Mech., 519, 55–80, 2004.
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Short summary
Bedrock incision by rivers is driven by the impacts of sediment particles moved by the water flow. Sediment residing on the bed can protect the rock from impacts, thereby reducing erosion rates, a phenomenon known as the cover effect. The cover effect has been shown to be important in many field and laboratory experiments. Here, we develop a mathematical framework to describe the cover effect which can be used to compare data and to predict the extent of cover in streams.