Articles | Volume 8, issue 2
Research article
03 Jun 2020
Research article |  | 03 Jun 2020

Parameterization of river incision models requires accounting for environmental heterogeneity: insights from the tropical Andes

Benjamin Campforts, Veerle Vanacker, Frédéric Herman, Matthias Vanmaercke, Wolfgang Schwanghart, Gustavo E. Tenorio, Patrick Willems, and Gerard Govers

Data sets

Ecuadorian national meteorological service, Anuario Meteorológico [Annual reports from 1990–2013] INAMHI – Instituto Nacional de Meteorología e Hidrología

Short summary
In this contribution, we explore the spatial determinants of bedrock river incision in the tropical Andes. The model results illustrate the problem of confounding between climatic and lithological variables, such as rock strength. Incorporating rock strength explicitly into river incision models strongly improves the explanatory power of all tested models and enables us to clarify the role of rainfall variability in controlling river incision rates.