Articles | Volume 7, issue 1
Earth Surf. Dynam., 7, 17–43, 2019
https://doi.org/10.5194/esurf-7-17-2019
Earth Surf. Dynam., 7, 17–43, 2019
https://doi.org/10.5194/esurf-7-17-2019
Research article
10 Jan 2019
Research article | 10 Jan 2019

Long-profile evolution of transport-limited gravel-bed rivers

Andrew D. Wickert and Taylor F. Schildgen

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Cited articles

Acosta, V. T., Schildgen, T. F., Clarke, B. A., Scherler, D., Bookhagen, B., Wittmann, H., von Blanckenburg, F., and Strecker, M. R.: Effect of vegetation cover on millennial-scale landscape denudation rates in East Africa, Lithosphere, 7, 408–420, https://doi.org/10.1130/L402.1, 2015. a
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Ashmore, P.: Channel Morphology and Bed Load Pulses in Braided, Gravel-Bed Streams, Geogr. Ann. A, 73, 37–52, https://doi.org/10.2307/521212, 1991. a
Attal, M. and Lavé, J.: Pebble abrasion during fluvial transport: Experimental results and implications for the evolution of the sediment load along rivers, J. Geophys. Res.-Earth, 114, 1–22, https://doi.org/10.1029/2009JF001328, 2009. a, b
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Short summary
Rivers can raise or lower their beds by depositing or eroding sediments. We combine equations for flow, channel/valley geometry, and gravel transport to learn how climate and tectonics shape down-valley profiles of river-bed elevation. Rivers steepen when they receive more sediment (relative to water) and become straighter with tectonic uplift. Weathering and breakdown of gravel is needed to produce gradually widening river channels with concave-up profiles that are often observed in the field.