Articles | Volume 6, issue 1
Research article
08 Jan 2018
Research article |  | 08 Jan 2018

Developing and exploring a theory for the lateral erosion of bedrock channels for use in landscape evolution models

Abigail L. Langston and Gregory E. Tucker

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Cited articles

Adams, J. M., Gasparini, N. M., Hobley, D. E. J., Tucker, G. E., Hutton, E. W. H., Nudurupati, S. S., and Istanbulluoglu, E.: The Landlab v1.0 OverlandFlow component: a Python tool for computing shallow-water flow across watersheds, Geosci. Model Dev., 10, 1645–1663,, 2017.
Andrews, E. D.: Bed-material entrainment and hydraulic geometry of gravel-bed rivers in Colorado, Geol. Soc. Am. Bull., 95, 371–378, 1984.
Anton, L., Mather, A., Stokes, M., Munoz-Martin, A., and De Vicente, G.: Exceptional river gorge formation from unexceptional floods, Nature Comm., 6, 7963, 2015.
Barbour, J., Stark, C., Lin, C.-W., Chen, H., Horng, M.-J., Ko, C.-P., Yi, T.-C., Tsai, T.-T., Chang, W.-S., Lee, S.-P., and Huang, C.: Magnitude-frequency distributions of boundary shear stress along a rapidly eroding bedrock river, Geophys. Res. Lett., 36, L04401,, 2009.
Beaumont, C., Fullsack, P., and Hamilton, J.: Erosional control of active compressional orogens, Thrust tectonics, 99, 1–18, 1992.
Short summary
While vertical incision in bedrock rivers is widely implemented in landscape evolution models, lateral erosion is largely ignored. This makes current models unfit to explain the formation of wide bedrock valleys and strath terraces. In this study we present a fundamental advance in the representation of lateral erosion of bedrock rivers in a landscape evolution model. The model results show a scaling relationship between valley width and drainage area similar to that found in natural systems.