Articles | Volume 7, issue 2
14 May 2019
Research article | 14 May 2019
Sediment supply from lateral moraines to a debris-covered glacier in the Himalaya
Teun van Woerkom et al.
No articles found.
Marin Kneib, Evan S. Miles, Pascal Buri, Stefan Fugger, Michael McCarthy, Thomas E. Shaw, Zhao Chuanxi, Martin Truffer, Matthew J. Westoby, Wei Yang, and Francesca Pellicciotti
The Cryosphere, 16, 4701–4725,Short summary
Ice cliffs are believed to be important contributors to the melt of debris-covered glaciers, but this has rarely been quantified as the cliffs can disappear or rapidly expand within a few weeks. We used photogrammetry techniques to quantify the weekly evolution and melt of four cliffs. We found that their behaviour and melt during the monsoon is strongly controlled by supraglacial debris, streams and ponds, thus providing valuable insights on the melt and evolution of debris-covered glaciers.
Adam Emmer, Simon K. Allen, Mark Carey, Holger Frey, Christian Huggel, Oliver Korup, Martin Mergili, Ashim Sattar, Georg Veh, Thomas Y. Chen, Simon J. Cook, Mariana Correas-Gonzalez, Soumik Das, Alejandro Diaz Moreno, Fabian Drenkhan, Melanie Fischer, Walter W. Immerzeel, Eñaut Izagirre, Ramesh Chandra Joshi, Ioannis Kougkoulos, Riamsara Kuyakanon Knapp, Dongfeng Li, Ulfat Majeed, Stephanie Matti, Holly Moulton, Faezeh Nick, Valentine Piroton, Irfan Rashid, Masoom Reza, Anderson Ribeiro de Figueiredo, Christian Riveros, Finu Shrestha, Milan Shrestha, Jakob Steiner, Noah Walker-Crawford, Joanne L. Wood, and Jacob C. Yde
Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci., 22, 3041–3061,Short summary
Glacial lake outburst floods (GLOFs) have attracted increased research attention recently. In this work, we review GLOF research papers published between 2017 and 2021 and complement the analysis with research community insights gained from the 2021 GLOF conference we organized. The transdisciplinary character of the conference together with broad geographical coverage allowed us to identify progress, trends and challenges in GLOF research and outline future research needs and directions.
Léo C. P. Martin, Sebastian Westermann, Michele Magni, Fanny Brun, Joel Fiddes, Yanbin Lei, Philip Kraaijenbrink, Tamara Mathys, Moritz Langer, Simon Allen, and Walter W. Immerzeel
Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci. Discuss.,
Preprint under review for HESSShort summary
Across the Tibetan plateau, many large lakes have been changing level during the last decades as a response to climate change. In high mountain environments, water fluxes from the land to the lakes are linked to the ground temperature of the land and to the energy fluxes between the ground and the atmosphere, which are modified by climate change. With a numerical model, we test how these water and energy fluxes have changed over the last decades and how they influence the lake level variations.
Loris Compagno, Matthias Huss, Evan Stewart Miles, Michael James McCarthy, Harry Zekollari, Amaury Dehecq, Francesca Pellicciotti, and Daniel Farinotti
The Cryosphere, 16, 1697–1718,Short summary
We present a new approach for modelling debris area and thickness evolution. We implement the module into a combined mass-balance ice-flow model, and we apply it using different climate scenarios to project the future evolution of all glaciers in High Mountain Asia. We show that glacier geometry, volume, and flow velocity evolve differently when modelling explicitly debris cover compared to glacier evolution without the debris-cover module, demonstrating the importance of accounting for debris.
Stefan Fugger, Catriona L. Fyffe, Simone Fatichi, Evan Miles, Michael McCarthy, Thomas E. Shaw, Baohong Ding, Wei Yang, Patrick Wagnon, Walter Immerzeel, Qiao Liu, and Francesca Pellicciotti
The Cryosphere, 16, 1631–1652,Short summary
The monsoon is important for the shrinking and growing of glaciers in the Himalaya during summer. We calculate the melt of seven glaciers in the region using a complex glacier melt model and weather data. We find that monsoonal weather affects glaciers that are covered with a layer of rocky debris and glaciers without such a layer in different ways. It is important to take so-called turbulent fluxes into account. This knowledge is vital for predicting the future of the Himalayan glaciers.
Wouter J. Smolenaars, Sanita Dhaubanjar, Muhammad K. Jamil, Arthur Lutz, Walter Immerzeel, Fulco Ludwig, and Hester Biemans
Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci., 26, 861–883,Short summary
The arid plains of the lower Indus Basin rely heavily on the water provided by the mountainous upper Indus. Rapid population growth in the upper Indus is expected to increase the water that is consumed there. This will subsequently reduce the water that is available for the downstream plains, where the population and water demand are also expected to grow. In future, this may aggravate tensions over the division of water between the countries that share the Indus Basin.
Maurice van Tiggelen, Paul C. J. P. Smeets, Carleen H. Reijmer, Bert Wouters, Jakob F. Steiner, Emile J. Nieuwstraten, Walter W. Immerzeel, and Michiel R. van den Broeke
The Cryosphere, 15, 2601–2621,Short summary
We developed a method to estimate the aerodynamic properties of the Greenland Ice Sheet surface using either UAV or ICESat-2 elevation data. We show that this new method is able to reproduce the important spatiotemporal variability in surface aerodynamic roughness, measured by the field observations. The new maps of surface roughness can be used in atmospheric models to improve simulations of surface turbulent heat fluxes and therefore surface energy and mass balance over rough ice worldwide.
Paul H. Whitfield, Philip D. A. Kraaijenbrink, Kevin R. Shook, and John W. Pomeroy
Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci., 25, 2513–2541,Short summary
Using only warm season streamflow records, regime and change classifications were produced for ~ 400 watersheds in the Nelson and Mackenzie River basins, and trends in water storage and vegetation were detected from satellite imagery. Three areas show consistent changes: north of 60° (increased streamflow and basin greenness), in the western Boreal Plains (decreased streamflow and basin greenness), and across the Prairies (three different patterns of increased streamflow and basin wetness).
Remco J. de Kok, Philip D. A. Kraaijenbrink, Obbe A. Tuinenburg, Pleun N. J. Bonekamp, and Walter W. Immerzeel
The Cryosphere, 14, 3215–3234,Short summary
Glaciers worldwide are shrinking, yet glaciers in parts of High Mountain Asia are growing. Using models of the regional climate and glacier growth, we reproduce the observed patterns of glacier growth and shrinkage in High Mountain Asia of the last decades. Increases in snow, in part from water that comes from lowland agriculture, have probably been more important than changes in temperature to explain the growing glaciers. We now better understand changes in the crucial mountain water cycle.
Pleun N. J. Bonekamp, Chiel C. van Heerwaarden, Jakob F. Steiner, and Walter W. Immerzeel
The Cryosphere, 14, 1611–1632,Short summary
Drivers controlling melt of debris-covered glaciers are largely unknown. With a 3D turbulence-resolving model the impact of surface properties of debris on micrometeorological variables and the conductive heat flux is shown. Also, we show ice cliffs are local melt hot spots and that turbulent fluxes and local heat advection amplify spatial heterogeneity on the surface.This work is important for glacier mass balance modelling and for the understanding of the evolution of debris-covered glaciers.
Paul H. Whitfield, Philip D. A. Kraaijenbrink, Kevin R. Shook, and John W. Pomeroy
Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci. Discuss.,
Revised manuscript not acceptedShort summary
Using partial year streamflow records a regime and change classification were produced for ~ 400 watersheds in the Saskatchewan and Mackenzie River basins, and trends in water storage and vegetation were detected from satellite imagery. Three areas show consistent changes; north of 60° [increased streamflow and basin greenness], in the western Boreal Plains [decreased streamflow and basin greenness], and across the Prairies [three different patterns of increased streamflow and basin wetness].
Evan S. Miles, C. Scott Watson, Fanny Brun, Etienne Berthier, Michel Esteves, Duncan J. Quincey, Katie E. Miles, Bryn Hubbard, and Patrick Wagnon
The Cryosphere, 12, 3891–3905,Short summary
We use high-resolution satellite imagery and field visits to assess the growth and drainage of a lake on Changri Shar Glacier in the Everest region, and its impact. The lake filled and drained within 3 months, which is a shorter interval than would be detected by standard monitoring protocols, but forced re-routing of major trails in several locations. The water appears to have flowed beneath Changri Shar and Khumbu glaciers in an efficient manner, suggesting pre-existing developed flow paths.
René Reijer Wijngaard, Hester Biemans, Arthur Friedrich Lutz, Arun Bhakta Shrestha, Philippus Wester, and Walter Willem Immerzeel
Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci., 22, 6297–6321,Short summary
This study assesses the combined impacts of climate change and socio-economic developments on the future water gap for the Indus, Ganges, and Brahmaputra river basins until the end of the 21st century. The results show that despite projected increases in surface water availability, the strong socio-economic development and associated increase in water demand will likely lead to an increase in the water gap, indicating that socio-economic changes will be the key driver in the evolving water gap.
Fanny Brun, Patrick Wagnon, Etienne Berthier, Joseph M. Shea, Walter W. Immerzeel, Philip D. A. Kraaijenbrink, Christian Vincent, Camille Reverchon, Dibas Shrestha, and Yves Arnaud
The Cryosphere, 12, 3439–3457,Short summary
On debris-covered glaciers, steep ice cliffs experience dramatically enhanced melt compared with the surrounding debris-covered ice. Using field measurements, UAV data and submetre satellite imagery, we estimate the cliff contribution to 2 years of ablation on a debris-covered tongue in Nepal, carefully taking into account ice dynamics. While they occupy only 7 to 8 % of the tongue surface, ice cliffs contributed to 23 to 24 % of the total tongue ablation.
Jakob F. Steiner, Philip D. A. Kraaijenbrink, Sergiu G. Jiduc, and Walter W. Immerzeel
The Cryosphere, 12, 95–101,Short summary
Glaciers that once every few years or decades suddenly advance in length – also known as surging glaciers – are found in many glaciated regions in the world. In the Karakoram glacier tongues are additionally located at low altitudes and relatively close to human settlements. We investigate a very recent and extremely rapid surge in the region that has caused a lake to form in the main valley with possible risks for downstream communities.
Katie E. Miles, Bryn Hubbard, Tristam D. L. Irvine-Fynn, Evan S. Miles, Duncan J. Quincey, and Ann V. Rowan
The Cryosphere Discuss.,
Preprint withdrawnShort summary
The production and routing of meltwater through glaciers is important because that water influences glacier sliding, and represents a resource in some instances and a hazard in others. Despite this importance, very little is known about the hydrology of debris-covered glaciers, which are commonly located at high altitudes. Here, we present a review of the hydrology of debris-covered glaciers, summarizing the current state of knowledge and identify potential future research priorities.
Emmy E. Stigter, Niko Wanders, Tuomo M. Saloranta, Joseph M. Shea, Marc F. P. Bierkens, and Walter W. Immerzeel
The Cryosphere, 11, 1647–1664,
Koji Fujita, Hiroshi Inoue, Takeki Izumi, Satoru Yamaguchi, Ayako Sadakane, Sojiro Sunako, Kouichi Nishimura, Walter W. Immerzeel, Joseph M. Shea, Rijan B. Kayastha, Takanobu Sawagaki, David F. Breashears, Hiroshi Yagi, and Akiko Sakai
Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci., 17, 749–764,Short summary
We create multiple DEMs from photographs taken by helicopter and UAV and reveal the deposit volumes over the Langtang village, which was destroyed by avalanches induced by the Gorkha earthquake. Estimated snow depth in the source area is consistent with anomalously large snow depths observed at a neighboring glacier. Comparing with a long-term observational data, we conclude that this anomalous winter snow amplified the disaster induced by the 2015 Gorkha earthquake in Nepal.
Walter Immerzeel, Philip Kraaijenbrink, and Liss Andreassen
The Cryosphere Discuss.,
Revised manuscript not acceptedShort summary
Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) have become increasingly popular in environmental monitoring. In this study we use a UAV to derive a very detailed digital elevation model (DEM) of Storbreen in Norway. We compare our results with a past DEM to derive the mass balance of this glacier. Our results confirm strong mass loss and retreat of continental glaciers in southern Norway and we conclude that UAVs are effective tools in stuyding mountain glaciers at a high level of detail.
Christian Vincent, Patrick Wagnon, Joseph M. Shea, Walter W. Immerzeel, Philip Kraaijenbrink, Dibas Shrestha, Alvaro Soruco, Yves Arnaud, Fanny Brun, Etienne Berthier, and Sonam Futi Sherpa
The Cryosphere, 10, 1845–1858,Short summary
Approximately 25 % of the glacierized area in the Everest region is covered by debris, yet the surface mass balance of these glaciers has not been measured directly. From terrestrial photogrammetry and unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) methods, this study shows that the ablation is strongly reduced by the debris cover. The insulating effect of the debris cover has a larger effect on total mass loss than the enhanced ice ablation due to supraglacial ponds and exposed ice cliffs.
W. W. Immerzeel, N. Wanders, A. F. Lutz, J. M. Shea, and M. F. P. Bierkens
Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci., 19, 4673–4687,Short summary
The water resources of the upper Indus river basin (UIB) are important for millions of people, yet little is known about the rain and snow fall in the high-altitude regions because of the inaccessibility, the climatic complexity and the lack of observations. In this study we use mass balance of glaciers to reconstruct the amount of precipitation in the UIB and we conclude that this amount is much higher than previously thought.
E. Collier, F. Maussion, L. I. Nicholson, T. Mölg, W. W. Immerzeel, and A. B. G. Bush
The Cryosphere, 9, 1617–1632,Short summary
We investigate the impact of surface debris on glacier energy and mass fluxes and on atmosphere-glacier feedbacks in the Karakoram range, by including debris in an interactively coupled atmosphere-glacier model. The model is run from 1 May to 1 October 2004, with a simple specification of debris thickness. We find an appreciable reduction in ablation that exceeds 5m w.e. on glacier tongues, as well as significant alterations to near-surface air temperatures and boundary layer dynamics.
W. Terink, A. F. Lutz, G. W. H. Simons, W. W. Immerzeel, and P. Droogers
Geosci. Model Dev., 8, 2009–2034,Short summary
This paper introduces the Spatial Processes in HYdrology (SPHY) model (v2.0), its underlying concepts, and some example applications. SPHY has the flexibility to be applied in a wide range of hydrologic applications, on various scales, and can easily be implemented. The most relevant hydrologic processes integrated in the SPHY model are rainfall--runoff, cryosphere processes, evapotranspiration processes, the dynamic evolution of evolution of vegetation cover, and lake/reservoir outflow.
Related subject area
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Anya S. Leenman and Brett C. Eaton
Earth Surf. Dynam., 10, 1097–1114,Short summary
The supply of sediment (sand and gravel) carried by a stream out of a steep mountain valley is widely thought to control the gradient of the fan-shaped landforms that streams often build where they leave their valley. We tested this idea in a set of
sandboxexperiments with oscillating high and low sediment supply. Even though the average sediment supply never changed, longer oscillations built flatter fans, indicating how wetter climates might affect these mountain landforms.
Shanbai Wu, Ruihua Zhao, Liping Liao, Yunchuan Yang, Yao Wei, and Wenzhi Wei
Earth Surf. Dynam., 10, 1079–1096,Short summary
Granite residual soil landslides are widely distributed in southeastern Guangxi Province, China. To understand the failure mode, the landslide can provide a scientific basis for early warning and prevention. In this study, we conducted artificial flume model tests to investigate the failure mode of granite residual soil landslide. The research provides valuable references for the prevention and early warning of granite residual soil landslide in the southeast of Guangxi.
Shiuan-An Chen, Katerina Michaelides, David A. Richards, and Michael Bliss Singer
Earth Surf. Dynam., 10, 1055–1078,Short summary
Drainage basin erosion rates influence landscape evolution through controlling land surface lowering and sediment flux, but gaps remain in understanding their large-scale patterns and drivers between timescales. We analysed global erosion rates and show that long-term erosion rates are controlled by rainfall, former glacial processes, and basin landform, whilst human activities enhance short-term erosion rates. The results highlight the complex interplay of controls on land surface processes.
Hemanti Sharma, Sebastian G. Mutz, and Todd A. Ehlers
Earth Surf. Dynam., 10, 997–1015,Short summary
We estimate global changes in frost cracking intensity (FCI) using process-based models for four time slices in the late Cenozoic ranging from the Pliocene (∼ 3 Ma) to pre-industrial (∼ 1850 CE, PI). For all time slices, results indicate that FCI was most prevalent in middle to high latitudes and high-elevation lower-latitude areas such as Tibet. Larger deviations (relative to PI) were observed in colder (LGM) and warmer climates (Pliocene) due to differences in temperature and glaciation.
Karianne S. Lilleøren, Bernd Etzelmüller, Line Rouyet, Trond Eiken, Gaute Slinde, and Christin Hilbich
Earth Surf. Dynam., 10, 975–996,Short summary
In northern Norway we have observed several rock glaciers at sea level. Rock glaciers are landforms that only form under the influence of permafrost, which is frozen ground. Our investigations show that the rock glaciers are probably not active under the current climate but most likely were active in the recent past. This shows how the Arctic now changes due to climate changes and also how similar areas in currently colder climates will change in the future.
David Mair, Ariel Henrique Do Prado, Philippos Garefalakis, Alessandro Lechmann, Alexander Whittaker, and Fritz Schlunegger
Earth Surf. Dynam., 10, 953–973,Short summary
Grain size data are important for studying and managing rivers, but they are difficult to obtain in the field. Therefore, methods have been developed that use images from small and remotely piloted aircraft. However, uncertainty in grain size data from such image-based products is understudied. Here we present a new way of uncertainty estimation that includes fully modeled errors. We use this technique to assess the effect of several image acquisition aspects on grain size uncertainty.
Tobias Nicollier, Gilles Antoniazza, Lorenz Ammann, Dieter Rickenmann, and James W. Kirchner
Earth Surf. Dynam., 10, 929–951,Short summary
Monitoring sediment transport is relevant for flood safety and river restoration. However, the spatial and temporal variability of sediment transport processes makes their prediction challenging. We investigate the feasibility of a general calibration relationship between sediment transport rates and the impact signals recorded by metal plates installed in the channel bed. We present a new calibration method based on flume experiments and apply it to an extensive dataset of field measurements.
Joanne Elkadi, Benjamin Lehmann, Georgina E. King, Olivia Steinemann, Susan Ivy-Ochs, Marcus Christl, and Frédéric Herman
Earth Surf. Dynam., 10, 909–928,Short summary
Glacial and non-glacial processes have left a strong imprint on the landscape of the European Alps, but further research is needed to better understand their long-term effects. We apply a new technique combining two methods for bedrock surface dating to calculate post-glacier erosion rates next to a Swiss glacier. Interestingly, the results suggest non-glacial erosion rates are higher than previously thought, but glacial erosion remains the most influential on landscape evolution.
David L. Adams and Brett C. Eaton
Earth Surf. Dynam., 10, 895–907,Short summary
Channel processes under flood conditions are important for river science and management as they involve high volumes of sediment transport and erosion. However, these processes remain poorly understood as the data are difficult to collect. Using a physical model of a river, we found that simple equations based on the mean shear stress and median grain size predicted sediment transport as accurately as ones that accounted for the full range of shear stresses.
Yizhou Wang, Liran Goren, Dewen Zheng, and Huiping Zhang
Earth Surf. Dynam., 10, 833–849,Short summary
Abrupt changes in tectonic uplift rates induce sharp changes in river profile, called knickpoints. When river erosion depends non-linearly on slope, we develop an analytic model for knickpoint velocity and find the condition of knickpoint merging. Then we develop analytic models that represent the two-directional link between tectonic changes and river profile evolution. The derivation provides new understanding on the links between tectonic changes and river profile evolution.
J. Kevin Pierce, Marwan A. Hassan, and Rui M. L. Ferreira
Earth Surf. Dynam., 10, 817–832,Short summary
We describe the flow of sediment in river channels by replacing the complicated details of the turbulent water with probability arguments. Our major conclusions are that (1) sediment transport can be phrased in terms of the movements of individual sediment grains, (2) transport rates in river channels are inherently uncertain, and (3) sediment transport in rivers is directly analogous to a number of phenomena which we understand relatively well, such as molecules moving in air.
Haruka Tsunetaka, Norifumi Hotta, Yuichi Sakai, and Thad Wasklewicz
Earth Surf. Dynam., 10, 775–796,Short summary
To assess the effects of differences in grain-size distribution within debris flows on the morphology of debris-flow fans, fan morphologies were modeled experimentally. Even if debris flows exhibited similar flow properties, their runout distance differed in response to differences in their grain-size distribution. Differences in runout distance were responsible for variations in the direction of the descending flow that resulted in different debris-flow fan morphology.
Sarah A. Schanz and A. Peyton Colee
Earth Surf. Dynam., 10, 761–774,Short summary
We mapped and dated 187 earthflows to determine controls on earthflow formation and resulting topographic changes in the Teanaway basin, central Washington State, USA. Using a new relative dating technique and absolute dating, we find that 25 % of earthflows were active in the last ~500 years. Earthflows are lithologically controlled, actively narrow valleys, and increase sediment loads.
Jeongyeon Han and Wonsuck Kim
Earth Surf. Dynam., 10, 743–759,Short summary
A levee-building model is presented to investigate the effects of flood on levee slope and river behaviors. Coarser grains that cause steep levee slopes lead to frequent switchings of river paths, but higher overflow velocity has an opposite effect. High levee slopes lead to more reoccupations of abandoned old river paths than low levee slopes when rivers switch their locations. The study helps us to assess flood hazards with river-path switching.
Dieter Rickenman, Lorenz Ammann, Tobias Nicollier, Stefan Boss, Bruno Fritschi, Gilles Antoniazza, Nicolas Steeb, Zheng Chen, Carlos Wyss, and Alexandre Badoux
Earth Surf. Dynam. Discuss.,
Revised manuscript accepted for ESurfShort summary
The Swiss plate geophone system has been installed and tested in more than 20 steep gravel-bed streams. It is an indirect bedload transport measuring system. We compare the performance of this system with three alternative surrogate measuring systems, using calibration measurements with direct bedload samples from three field sites and an outdoor flume facility. Three of the four systems resulted in robust calibration relations between signal impulse counts and transported bedload mass.
Maxwell P. Dahlquist and A. Joshua West
Earth Surf. Dynam., 10, 705–722,Short summary
Himalayan rivers are full of giant boulders that rarely move except during glacial lake outburst floods (GLOFs), which therefore must be important drivers of erosion in the Himalayas. GLOFs are rare, so little is known about their long-term erosional impact. We found that rivers in Nepal have channel geometry that, compared with markers of upstream glaciation, confirm GLOFs as a major control on erosion. This previously unrecognized control should be accounted for in landscape evolution studies.
Tim Steffen, Matthias Huss, Rebekka Estermann, Elias Hodel, and Daniel Farinotti
Earth Surf. Dynam., 10, 723–741,Short summary
Climate change is rapidly altering high-alpine landscapes. The formation of new lakes in areas becoming ice free due to glacier retreat is one of the many consequences of this process. Here, we provide an estimate for the number, size, time of emergence, and sediment infill of future glacier lakes that will emerge in the Swiss Alps. We estimate that up to ~ 680 potential lakes could form over the course of the 21st century, with the potential to hold a total water volume of up to ~ 1.16 km3.
Wei Shi, Hanchao Jiang, Hongyan Xu, Siyuan Ma, Jiawei Fan, Siqi Zhang, Qiaoqiao Guo, and Xiaotong Wei
Earth Surf. Dynam. Discuss.,
Revised manuscript accepted for ESurfShort summary
The alpine valleys reduce the preservation potential of Quaternary sediment in bedrock valley region, which seriously hinder the study of modern tectonic activity. We report a new method to reveal regional tectonic activity by analyzing fluvial sediments in tectonically active regions. Our analyses identify three segments of different tectonic activities along the upper Min River, eastern Tibet. This method provides a key framework to reveal tectonic activity in other regions of the world.
Earth Surf. Dynam., 10, 671–686,Short summary
Many studies on modeling landform evolution have focused on mountain ranges, while large parts of Earth's surface are quite flat and alluvial plains have been preferred locations for human settlements. Conducting large-scale simulations of fluvial erosion and sediment transport, this study reveals that rivers in a tectonically inactive foreland are much more dynamic than rivers in a mountain range; the local redistribution of deposits in the foreland is the main driver of the dynamics.
Lena Katharina Schmidt, Till Francke, Erwin Rottler, Theresa Blume, Johannes Schöber, and Axel Bronstert
Earth Surf. Dynam., 10, 653–669,Short summary
Climate change fundamentally alters glaciated high-alpine areas, but it is unclear how this affects riverine sediment transport. As a first step, we aimed to identify the most important processes and source areas in three nested catchments in the Ötztal, Austria, in the past 15 years. We found that areas above 2500 m were crucial and that summer rainstorms were less influential than glacier melt. These findings provide a baseline for studies on future changes in high-alpine sediment dynamics.
Hima J. Hassenruck-Gudipati, Thaddeus Ellis, Timothy A. Goudge, and David Mohrig
Earth Surf. Dynam., 10, 635–651,Short summary
During the late Pleistocene, the incision of the Trinity River valley left behind terraces. Elevation data and measurements of abandoned channels preserved on terraces are used to evaluate how terraces formed. We find a transition in the style of terraces with age from those associated with external environmental forcings to those produced by internal river migration changes. This result shows the importance of several indicators (i.e., channel bends, elevations) in determining terrace form.
Benjamin Lehmann, Robert S. Anderson, Xavier Bodin, Diego Cusicanqui, Pierre G. Valla, and Julien Carcaillet
Earth Surf. Dynam., 10, 605–633,Short summary
Rock glaciers are some of the most frequently occurring landforms containing ice in mountain environments. Here, we use field observations, analysis of aerial and satellite images, and dating methods to investigate the activity of the rock glacier of the Vallon de la Route in the French Alps. Our results suggest that the rock glacier is characterized by two major episodes of activity and that the rock glacier system promotes the maintenance of mountain erosion.
Elena Serra, Pierre G. Valla, Romain Delunel, Natacha Gribenski, Marcus Christl, and Naki Akçar
Earth Surf. Dynam., 10, 493–512,Short summary
Alpine landscapes are transformed by several erosion processes. 10Be concentrations measured in river sediments at the outlet of a basin represent a powerful tool to quantify how fast the catchment erodes. We measured erosion rates within the Dora Baltea catchments (western Italian Alps). Our results show that erosion is governed by topography, bedrock resistance and glacial imprint. The Mont Blanc massif has the highest erosion and therefore dominates the sediment flux of the Dora Baltea river.
Sibylle Knapp, Michael Schwenk, and Michael Krautblatter
Earth Surf. Dynam. Discuss.,
Revised manuscript accepted for ESurfShort summary
The Flims area in the Swiss Alps has fascinated the researchers with its complex geological history ever since. Especially the order of events related to the Tamins and Flims rockslides has long been debated. This paper presents novel results based on up to 160 m deep geophysical profiles, which show onlaps of the Bonaduz Gravel onto the Tamins deposits (Ils Aults) and thus indicate that the Tamins rockslide occurred first. The consecutive evolution of this landscape is shown in four phases.
Fiona J. Clubb, Eliot F. Weir, and Simon M. Mudd
Earth Surf. Dynam., 10, 437–456,Short summary
River valleys are important components of mountain systems: they are the most fertile part of landscapes and store sediment which is transported from mountains to surrounding basins. Our knowledge of the location and shape of valleys is hindered by our ability to measure them over large areas. We present a new method for measuring the width of mountain valleys continuously along river channels from digital topography and show that our method can be used to test common models of river widening.
Madison M. Douglas, Gen K. Li, Woodward W. Fischer, Joel C. Rowland, Preston C. Kemeny, A. Joshua West, Jon Schwenk, Anastasia P. Piliouras, Austin J. Chadwick, and Michael P. Lamb
Earth Surf. Dynam., 10, 421–435,Short summary
Arctic rivers erode into permafrost and mobilize organic carbon, which can react to form greenhouse gasses or be re-buried in floodplain deposits. We collected samples on a permafrost floodplain in Alaska to determine if more carbon is eroded or deposited by river meandering. The floodplain contained a mixture of young carbon fixed by the biosphere and old, re-deposited carbon. Thus, sediment storage may allow Arctic river floodplains to retain aged organic carbon even when permafrost thaws.
Maarten G. Kleinhans, Lonneke Roelofs, Steven A. H. Weisscher, Ivar R. Lokhorst, and Lisanne Braat
Earth Surf. Dynam., 10, 367–381,Short summary
Floodplain formation in estuaries limit the ebb and flood flow, reducing channel migration and shortening the tidally influenced reach. Vegetation establishment on bars reduces local flow velocity and concentrates flow into channels, while mudflats fill accommodation space and reduce channel migration. These results are based on experimental estuaries in the Metronome facility supported by numerical flow modelling.
Xingyu Chen, Marwan A. Hassan, and Xudong Fu
Earth Surf. Dynam., 10, 349–366,Short summary
We compiled a large image dataset containing more than 125 000 sediments and developed a model (GrainID) based on convolutional neural networks to measure individual grain size from images. The model was calibrated on flume and natural stream images covering a wide range of fluvial environments. The model showed high performance compared with other methods. Our model showed great potential for grain size measurements from a small patch of sediment in a flume to a watershed-scale drone survey.
Harrison J. Gray, Christopher B. DuRoss, Sylvia R. Nicovich, and Ryan D. Gold
Earth Surf. Dynam., 10, 329–348,Short summary
Some types of big earthquakes create small cliffs or
fault scarps∼1–3 m in height, where sediments can pile up and create deposits we call
colluvial wedges. Geologists will look at colluvial wedges and use them to understand how often big earthquakes occur. Here we made a computer simulation to find out if the way we think colluvial wedges form works with physics. We found that it does in theory, but there are conditions in which it may be more complicated than we expected.
Zheng Chen, Siming He, Tobias Nicollier, Lorenz Ammann, Alexandre Badoux, and Dieter Rickenmann
Earth Surf. Dynam., 10, 279–300,Short summary
Bedload flux quantification remains challenging in river dynamics due to variable transport modes. We used a passive monitoring device to record the acoustic signals generated by the impacts of bedload particles with different transport modes, and established the relationship between the triggered signals and bedload characteristics. The findings of this study could improve our understanding of the monitoring system and bedload transport process, and contribute to bedload size classification.
William H. Booker and Brett C. Eaton
Earth Surf. Dynam., 10, 247–260,Short summary
Channel behaviour is a qualitative aspect of river research that needs development to produce a framework of analysis between and within types of channels. We seek to produce a quantitative metric that can capture how a channel changes using a pair of experiments and collecting easy to obtain data. We demonstrate that this new technique is capable of discerning between river types and may provide a new tool with which we may describe channel behaviour.
Yiran Wang, Michael E. Oskin, Youli Li, and Huiping Zhang
Earth Surf. Dynam., 10, 191–208,Short summary
Beida River has an over-steepened reach presently located 10 km upstream of the North Qilian mountain front. It was formed because river incising into the bedrocks inside the mountain cannot keep up with river incising into the soft sediment in the basin. We suggest this over-steepened reach represents a fast incision period 3–4 kyr ago, deepening the canyon for ~35 m within ~700 years. The formation of this reach corresponds to a humid period related to strong Southeast Asian Monsoon influence.
Shiva P. Pudasaini and Michael Krautblatter
Earth Surf. Dynam., 10, 165–189,Short summary
We present the first physics-based general landslide velocity model incorporating internal deformation and external forces. Voellmy–inviscid Burgers' equations are specifications of the novel advective–dissipative system. Unified analytical solutions constitute a new foundation of landslide velocity, providing key information to instantly estimate impact forces and describe breaking waves and folding, revealing that landslide dynamics are architectured by advection and reigned by forcing.
Changbin Lim, Soonmi Hwang, and Jung Lyul Lee
Earth Surf. Dynam., 10, 151–163,Short summary
Recently, along the east coast of South Korea, seasonal beach erosion has been induced by structures which severely block the supply of sand from the upstream side. This study proposes a coastal solution that can predict the maximum indentation point in downdrift erosion formed downstream of groins by applying a parabolic bay shape equation (PBSE).
Bernd Etzelmüller, Justyna Czekirda, Florence Magnin, Pierre-Allain Duvillard, Ludovic Ravanel, Emanuelle Malet, Andreas Aspaas, Lene Kristensen, Ingrid Skrede, Gudrun D. Majala, Benjamin Jacobs, Johannes Leinauer, Christian Hauck, Christin Hilbich, Martina Böhme, Reginald Hermanns, Harald Ø. Eriksen, Tom Rune Lauknes, Michael Krautblatter, and Sebastian Westermann
Earth Surf. Dynam., 10, 97–129,Short summary
This paper is a multi-authored study documenting the possible existence of permafrost in permanently monitored rockslides in Norway for the first time by combining a multitude of field data, including geophysical surveys in rock walls. The paper discusses the possible role of thermal regime and rockslide movement, and it evaluates the possible impact of atmospheric warming on rockslide dynamics in Norwegian mountains.
Yizhang Wei, Yining Chen, Jufei Qiu, Zeng Zhou, Peng Yao, Qin Jiang, Zheng Gong, Giovanni Coco, Ian Townend, and Changkuan Zhang
Earth Surf. Dynam., 10, 65–80,Short summary
The barrier tidal basin is increasingly altered by human activity and sea-level rise. These environmental changes probably lead to the emergence or disappearance of islands, yet the effect of rocky islands on the evolution of tidal basins remains poorly investigated. Using numerical experiments, we explore the evolution of tidal basins under varying numbers and locations of islands. This work provides insights for predicting the response of barrier tidal basins in a changing environment.
Marc J. P. Gouw and Marc P. Hijma
Earth Surf. Dynam., 10, 43–64,Short summary
If you were to navigate an entire delta by boat, you would clearly see that the general characteristics of the channels change throughout the delta. The drivers behind these changes have been studied extensively. Field studies encompassing the entire delta are rare but give important insights into these drivers that can help other researchers. The most important drivers are channel lateral-migration rate, channel-belt longevity, creation of accommodation space and inherited floodplain width.
Yan Zhong, Qiao Liu, Matthew Westoby, Yong Nie, Francesca Pellicciotti, Bo Zhang, Jialun Cai, Guoxiang Liu, Haijun Liao, and Xuyang Lu
Earth Surf. Dynam., 10, 23–42,Short summary
Slope failures exist in many paraglacial regions and are the main manifestation of the interaction between debris-covered glaciers and slopes. We mapped paraglacial slope failures (PSFs) along the Hailuogou Glacier (HLG), Mt. Gongga, southeastern Tibetan Plateau. We argue that the formation, evolution, and current status of these typical PSFs are generally related to glacier history and paraglacial geomorphological adjustments, and influenced by the fluctuation of climate conditions.
Sophie Bodek and Douglas J. Jerolmack
Earth Surf. Dynam., 9, 1531–1543,Short summary
As rocks are transported, they undergo two attrition mechanisms: chipping, shallow cracking at low collision energies; and fragmentation, significant fracture growth from high-energy impacts. We examine the mass and shape evolution of concrete particles in a rotating drum to experimentally delineate the boundary between chipping and fragmentation. By connecting the mechanics of these attrition processes to resulting shape evolution, we can use particle shape to infer past transport conditions.
Jennifer R. Shadrick, Martin D. Hurst, Matthew D. Piggott, Bethany G. Hebditch, Alexander J. Seal, Klaus M. Wilcken, and Dylan H. Rood
Earth Surf. Dynam., 9, 1505–1529,Short summary
Here we use topographic and 10Be concentration data to optimise a coastal evolution model. Cliff retreat rates are calculated for two UK sites for the past 8000 years and, for the first time, highlight a strong link between the rate of sea level rise and long-term cliff retreat rates. This method enables us to study past cliff response to sea level rise and so to greatly improve forecasts of future responses to accelerations in sea level rise that will result from climate change.
Marco Piantini, Florent Gimbert, Hervé Bellot, and Alain Recking
Earth Surf. Dynam., 9, 1423–1439,Short summary
We carry out laboratory experiments to investigate the formation and propagation dynamics of exogenous sediment pulses in mountain rivers. We show that the ability of a self-formed deposit to destabilize and generate sediment pulses depends on the sand content of the mixture, while each pulse turns out to be formed by a front, a body, and a tail. Seismic measurements reveal a complex and non-unique dependency between seismic power and sediment pulse transport characteristics.
Fumitoshi Imaizumi, Atsushi Ikeda, Kazuki Yamamoto, and Okihiro Ohsaka
Earth Surf. Dynam., 9, 1381–1398,Short summary
The rainfall threshold for debris flow occurrence was evaluated on Mt. Fuji, Japan. Debris flows during frozen periods were triggered by a smaller magnitude of rainfall than during unfrozen periods. During unfrozen periods, the threshold of maximum hourly rainfall intensity triggering debris flow was higher when the volume of channel deposits was larger. The results suggest that the occurrence of frozen ground needs to be monitored for better debris flow disaster mitigation in cold regions.
Víctor Cartelle, Natasha L. M. Barlow, David M. Hodgson, Freek S. Busschers, Kim M. Cohen, Bart M. L. Meijninger, and Wessel P. van Kesteren
Earth Surf. Dynam., 9, 1399–1421,Short summary
Reconstructing the growth and decay of past ice sheets is critical to understand relationships between global climate and sea-level change. We take advantage of large wind-farm datasets in the southern North Sea to investigate buried landscapes left by ice sheet advance and retreat occurring about 160 000 years ago. We demonstrate the utility of offshore wind-farm data in refining palaeo-ice sheet margin limits and providing insight into the processes influencing marginal ice sheet dynamics.
Melisa A. Diaz, Lee B. Corbett, Paul R. Bierman, Byron J. Adams, Diana H. Wall, Ian D. Hogg, Noah Fierer, and W. Berry Lyons
Earth Surf. Dynam., 9, 1363–1380,Short summary
We collected soil surface samples and depth profiles every 5 cm (up to 30 cm) from 11 ice-free areas along the Shackleton Glacier, a major outlet glacier of the East Antarctic Ice Sheet (EAIS), and measured meteoric beryllium-10 and nitrate concentrations to understand the relationship between salts and beryllium-10. This relationship can help inform wetting history, landscape disturbance, and exposure duration.
Chiu H. Cheng, Jaco C. de Smit, Greg S. Fivash, Suzanne J. M. H. Hulscher, Bas W. Borsje, and Karline Soetaert
Earth Surf. Dynam., 9, 1335–1346,Short summary
Shells are biogenic particles that are widespread throughout natural sandy environments and can affect the bed roughness and seabed erodibility. As studies are presently lacking, we experimentally measured ripple formation and migration using natural sand with increasing volumes of shell material under unidirectional flow in a racetrack flume. We show that shells expedite the onset of sediment transport, reduce ripple dimensions and slow their migration rate.
Christopher R. Hackney, Grigorios Vasilopoulos, Sokchhay Heng, Vasudha Darbari, Samuel Walker, and Daniel R. Parsons
Earth Surf. Dynam., 9, 1323–1334,Short summary
Unsustainable sand mining poses a threat to the stability of river channels. We use satellite imagery to estimate volumes of material removed from the Mekong River, Cambodia, over the period 2016–2020. We demonstrate that current rates of extraction now exceed previous estimates for the entire Mekong Basin and significantly exceed the volume of sand naturally transported by the river. Our work highlights the importance of satellite imagery in monitoring sand mining activity over large areas.
Xiangang Jiang, Haiguang Cheng, Lei Gao, and Weiming Liu
Earth Surf. Dynam., 9, 1263–1277,Short summary
Boulder bars are a common form of riverbed morphology which can be affected by outburst flood. However, few studies have focused on boulder bars' formation process and development characteristics during landslide dam failure. In this paper, eight groups of dam failure experiments were carried out to study the development and geometry characteristics of boulder bars during and after dam failure. Moreover, the relationships between geometry parameters of boulder bars are investigated.
Wentao Yang, Jian Fang, and Jing Liu-Zeng
Earth Surf. Dynam., 9, 1251–1262,Short summary
The eastern Tibetan Plateau is an ideal place to study interactions among different geomorphic drivers. We report the impacts of two 2018 landslide-lake outburst floods up to 100 km distance downstream of the Jinsha River. By using remote sensing images, we found that the 2018 floods caused many hillslopes to slump during the prolonged period afterwards. The finding could help us to obtain a holistic picture of LLF impacts and improve geomorphic models of landscape evolution.
Michael Itzkin, Laura J. Moore, Peter Ruggiero, Sally D. Hacker, and Reuben G. Biel
Earth Surf. Dynam., 9, 1223–1237,Short summary
Studies of the impact of storms on dunes typically focus on the importance of dune elevation, here we analyze the protective services offered by the dune height and width, the morphology of the beach fronting the dune, and artificial dune construction via the use of sand fences. We find that dune volume loss most strongly correlates to beach width rather than dune shape, although when beach width is controlled for low and wide dunes offer greater protection than tall and narrow dunes.
Philipp Mamot, Samuel Weber, Saskia Eppinger, and Michael Krautblatter
Earth Surf. Dynam., 9, 1125–1151,Short summary
The mechanical response of permafrost degradation on high-mountain rock slope stability has not been calculated in a numerical model yet. We present the first approach for a model with thermal and mechanical input data derived from laboratory and field work, and existing concepts. This is applied to a test site at the Zugspitze, Germany. A numerical sensitivity analysis provides the first critical stability thresholds related to the rock temperature, slope angle and fracture network orientation.
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Using data obtained from multiple UAV flights over a debris-covered glacier in the Himalaya between 2013 and 2018, we show that the adjacent moraines erode at rates of up to 16 cm per year, contributing to this debris cover. With retreating ice and resulting instability of moraines, this causes the glacier to cover a narrow zone along the lateral moraines in ever-thicker layers of rocks, resulting in a possible future decrease of local melt.
Using data obtained from multiple UAV flights over a debris-covered glacier in the Himalaya...