Articles | Volume 8, issue 3
Research article 16 Jul 2020
Research article | 16 Jul 2020
Modelling impacts of spatially variable erosion drivers on suspended sediment dynamics
Giulia Battista et al.
No articles found.
Elena Leonarduzzi, Brian W. McArdell, and Peter Molnar
Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci. Discuss.,
Preprint under review for HESSShort summary
Landslides are a dangerous natural hazard affecting alpine regions, calling for effective warning systems. Here we consider different approaches for the prediction of rainfall-induced shallow landslides at the regional scale, based on open access datasets and operational hydrological forecasting systems. We find antecedent wetness useful to improve upon the classical rainfall thresholds and the resolution of the hydrological model used for its estimate to be a critical aspect.
Marius G. Floriancic, Wouter R. Berghuijs, Tobias Jonas, James W. Kirchner, and Peter Molnar
Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci., 24, 5423–5438,Short summary
Low river flows affect societies and ecosystems. Here we study how precipitation and potential evapotranspiration shape low flows across a network of 380 Swiss catchments. Low flows in these rivers typically result from below-average precipitation and above-average potential evapotranspiration. Extreme low flows result from long periods of the combined effects of both drivers.
Elena Leonarduzzi and Peter Molnar
Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci., 20, 2905–2919,Short summary
Landslides are a natural hazard that affects alpine regions. Here we focus on rainfall-induced shallow landslides and one of the most widely used approaches for their predictions: rainfall thresholds. We design several comparisons utilizing a landslide database and rainfall records in Switzerland. We find that using daily rather than hourly rainfall might be a better option in some circumstances, and mean annual precipitation and antecedent wetness can improve predictions at the regional scale.
Martina Botter, Matthias Zeeman, Paolo Burlando, and Simone Fatichi
Revised manuscript accepted for BG
Naika Meili, Gabriele Manoli, Paolo Burlando, Elie Bou-Zeid, Winston T. L. Chow, Andrew M. Coutts, Edoardo Daly, Kerry A. Nice, Matthias Roth, Nigel J. Tapper, Erik Velasco, Enrique R. Vivoni, and Simone Fatichi
Geosci. Model Dev., 13, 335–362,Short summary
We developed a novel urban ecohydrological model (UT&C v1.0) that is able to account for the effects of different plant types on the urban climate and hydrology, as well as the effects of the urban environment on plant well-being and performance. UT&C performs well when compared against energy flux measurements in three cities in different climates (Singapore, Melbourne, Phoenix) and can be used to assess urban climate mitigation strategies that aim at increasing or changing urban green cover.
Nadav Peleg, Chris Skinner, Simone Fatichi, and Peter Molnar
Earth Surf. Dynam., 8, 17–36,Short summary
Extreme rainfall is expected to intensify with increasing temperatures, which will likely affect rainfall spatial structure. The spatial variability of rainfall can affect streamflow and sediment transport volumes and peaks. The sensitivity of the hydro-morphological response to changes in the structure of heavy rainfall was investigated. It was found that the morphological components are more sensitive to changes in rainfall spatial structure in comparison to the hydrological components.
Martina Botter, Paolo Burlando, and Simone Fatichi
Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci., 23, 1885–1904,Short summary
The study focuses on the solute export from rivers with the purpose of discerning the impacts of anthropic activities and catchment characteristics on water quality. The results revealed a more detectable impact of the anthropic activities than of the catchment characteristics. The solute export follows different dynamics depending on catchment characteristics and mainly on solute-specific properties. The export modality is consistent across different catchments only for a minority of solutes.
Anna Costa, Daniela Anghileri, and Peter Molnar
Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci., 22, 3421–3434,Short summary
We analyse the control of hydroclimatic factors – erosive rainfall, ice melt, and snowmelt – on suspended sediment concentration (SSC) of Alpine catchments regulated by hydropower, and we develop a multivariate hydroclimatic–informed rating curve. We show that while erosive rainfall determines the variability of SSC, ice melt generates the highest contribution to SSC per unit of runoff. This approach allows the exploration of climate–driven changes in fine sediment dynamics in Alpine catchments.
Sahani Pathiraja, Daniela Anghileri, Paolo Burlando, Ashish Sharma, Lucy Marshall, and Hamid Moradkhani
Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci., 22, 2903–2919,Short summary
Hydrologic modeling methodologies must be developed that are capable of predicting runoff in catchments with changing land cover conditions. This article investigates the efficacy of a recently developed approach that allows for runoff prediction in catchments with unknown land cover changes, through experimentation in a deforested catchment in Vietnam. The importance of key elements of the method in ensuring its success, such as the chosen hydrologic model, is investigated.
Anna Costa, Peter Molnar, Laura Stutenbecker, Maarten Bakker, Tiago A. Silva, Fritz Schlunegger, Stuart N. Lane, Jean-Luc Loizeau, and Stéphanie Girardclos
Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci., 22, 509–528,Short summary
We explore the signal of a warmer climate in the suspended-sediment dynamics of a regulated and human-impacted Alpine catchment. We demonstrate that temperature-driven enhanced melting of glaciers, which occurred in the mid-1980s, played a dominant role in suspended sediment concentration rise, through increased runoff from sediment-rich proglacial areas, increased contribution of sediment-rich meltwater, and increased sediment supply in proglacial areas due to glacier recession.
Anna Costa, Daniela Anghileri, and Peter Molnar
Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci. Discuss.,
Manuscript not accepted for further reviewShort summary
We develop a novel rating curve to simulate suspended sediment concentration (SSC) in Alpine catchments (Process-Based Rating Curve, PBRC). Instead of relating SSC to discharge, as in traditional approaches, we model SSC by differentiating the potential contributions of the main erosional and transport processes of Alpine environments: erosive rainfall, snowmelt, and icemelt. We show that PBRC significantly improves predictions of SSC, especially when analysing climate-induced changes.
Nadav Peleg, Frank Blumensaat, Peter Molnar, Simone Fatichi, and Paolo Burlando
Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci., 21, 1559–1572,Short summary
We investigated the relative contribution of the spatial versus climatic rainfall variability for flow peaks by applying an advanced stochastic rainfall generator to simulate rainfall for a small urban catchment and simulate flow dynamics in the sewer system. We found that the main contribution to the total flow variability originates from the natural climate variability. The contribution of spatial rainfall variability to the total flow variability was found to increase with return periods.
Søren Thorndahl, Thomas Einfalt, Patrick Willems, Jesper Ellerbæk Nielsen, Marie-Claire ten Veldhuis, Karsten Arnbjerg-Nielsen, Michael R. Rasmussen, and Peter Molnar
Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci., 21, 1359–1380,Short summary
This paper reviews how weather radar data can be used in urban hydrological applications. It focuses on three areas of research: (1) temporal and spatial resolution of rainfall data, (2) rainfall estimation, radar data adjustment and data quality, and (3) nowcasting of radar rainfall and real-time applications. Moreover, the paper provides examples of urban hydrological applications which can benefit from radar rainfall data in comparison to tradition rain gauge measurements of rainfall.
Claudio I. Meier, Jorge Sebastián Moraga, Geri Pranzini, and Peter Molnar
Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci., 20, 4177–4190,Short summary
We show that the derived distribution approach is able to characterize the interannual variability of precipitation much better than fitting a probabilistic model to annual rainfall totals, as long as continuously gauged data are available. The method is a useful tool for describing temporal changes in the distribution of annual rainfall, as it works for records as short as 5 years, and therefore does not require any stationarity assumption over long periods.
Bahareh Kianfar, Simone Fatichi, Athansios Paschalis, Max Maurer, and Peter Molnar
Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci. Discuss.,
Revised manuscript has not been submittedShort summary
Raingauge observations show a large variability in extreme rainfall depths in the current climate. Climate model predictions of extreme rainfall in the future have to be compared with this natural variability. Our work shows that predictions of future extreme rainfall often lie within the range of natural variability of present-day climate, and therefore predictions of change are highly uncertain. We demonstrate this by using stochastic rainfall models and 10-min rainfall data in Switzerland.
Matteo Saletti, Peter Molnar, Marwan A. Hassan, and Paolo Burlando
Earth Surf. Dynam., 4, 549–566,Short summary
This study presents a new reduced-complexity model with few parameters linked to basic physical processes, which aims to reproduce the transport of sediment as bed load and the formation and stability of channel morphology in steep mountain streams. The model is able to simulate the formation and stability of steps, bed structures commonly encountered in steep channels, by assuming that their formation is due to intense sediment transport during high flows causing jamming of particles.
J. Hall, B. Arheimer, G. T. Aronica, A. Bilibashi, M. Boháč, O. Bonacci, M. Borga, P. Burlando, A. Castellarin, G. B. Chirico, P. Claps, K. Fiala, L. Gaál, L. Gorbachova, A. Gül, J. Hannaford, A. Kiss, T. Kjeldsen, S. Kohnová, J. J. Koskela, N. Macdonald, M. Mavrova-Guirguinova, O. Ledvinka, L. Mediero, B. Merz, R. Merz, P. Molnar, A. Montanari, M. Osuch, J. Parajka, R. A. P. Perdigão, I. Radevski, B. Renard, M. Rogger, J. L. Salinas, E. Sauquet, M. Šraj, J. Szolgay, A. Viglione, E. Volpi, D. Wilson, K. Zaimi, and G. Blöschl
Proc. IAHS, 370, 89–95,
P. Molnar, S. Fatichi, L. Gaál, J. Szolgay, and P. Burlando
Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci., 19, 1753–1766,Short summary
We present an empirical study of the rates of increase in precipitation intensity with air temperature using high-resolution 10 min precipitation records in Switzerland. We estimated the scaling rates for lightning (convective) and non-lightning event subsets and show that scaling rates are between 7 and 14%/C for convective rain and that mixing of storm types exaggerates the relations to air temperature. Doubled CC rates reported by other studies are an exception in our data set.
K. Džubáková, P. Molnar, K. Schindler, and M. Trizna
Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci., 19, 195–208,Short summary
We use a high-resolution ground-based camera system with near-infrared sensitivity to quantify the response of riparian vegetation in an Alpine river to floods with the use of vegetation indices. The vegetation showed both damage and enhancement within 1 week following floods, with a selective impact determined by pre-flood vegetation vigour, morphological setting and intensity of flood forcing. The tested vegetation indices differed in the direction of predicted change in the range 0.7-35.8%.
J. Hall, B. Arheimer, M. Borga, R. Brázdil, P. Claps, A. Kiss, T. R. Kjeldsen, J. Kriaučiūnienė, Z. W. Kundzewicz, M. Lang, M. C. Llasat, N. Macdonald, N. McIntyre, L. Mediero, B. Merz, R. Merz, P. Molnar, A. Montanari, C. Neuhold, J. Parajka, R. A. P. Perdigão, L. Plavcová, M. Rogger, J. L. Salinas, E. Sauquet, C. Schär, J. Szolgay, A. Viglione, and G. Blöschl
Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci., 18, 2735–2772,
L. Gaál, P. Molnar, and J. Szolgay
Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci., 18, 1561–1573,
T. Grünewald, J. Stötter, J. W. Pomeroy, R. Dadic, I. Moreno Baños, J. Marturià, M. Spross, C. Hopkinson, P. Burlando, and M. Lehning
Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci., 17, 3005–3021,
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Chen Wang, Lennert Schepers, Matthew L. Kirwan, Enrica Belluco, Andrea D'Alpaos, Qiao Wang, Shoujing Yin, and Stijn Temmerman
Earth Surf. Dynam., 9, 71–88,Short summary
Coastal marshes are valuable natural habitats with normally dense vegetation. The presence of bare patches is a symptom of habitat degradation. We found that the occurrence of bare patches and regrowth of vegetation is related to spatial variations in soil surface elevation and to the distance and connectivity to tidal creeks. These relations are similar in three marshes at very different geographical locations. Our results may help nature managers to conserve and restore coastal marshes.
Kumar Gaurav, François Métivier, A V Sreejith, Rajiv Sinha, Amit Kumar, and Sampat Kumar Tandon
Earth Surf. Dynam., 9, 47–70,Short summary
This study demonstrates an innovative methodology to estimate the formative discharge of alluvial rivers from remote sensing images. We have developed an automated algorithm in Python 3 to extract the width of a river channel from satellite images. Finally, this channel width is translated into discharge using a semi-empirical regime equation developed from field measurements and threshold channel theory that explains the first-order geometry of alluvial channels.
Georgios Maniatis, Trevor Hoey, Rebecca Hodge, Dieter Rickenmann, and Alexandre Badoux
Earth Surf. Dynam., 8, 1067–1099,Short summary
One of the most interesting problems in geomorphology concerns the conditions that mobilise sediments grains in rivers. Newly developed
smartpebbles allow for the measurement of those conditions directly if a suitable framework for analysis is followed. This paper connects such a framework with the physics used to described sediment motion and presents a series of laboratory and field smart-pebble deployments. Those quantify how grain shape affects the motion of coarse sediments in rivers.
William D. Smith, Stuart A. Dunning, Stephen Brough, Neil Ross, and Jon Telling
Earth Surf. Dynam., 8, 1053–1065,Short summary
Glacial landslides are difficult to detect and likely underestimated due to rapid covering or dispersal. Without improved detection rates we cannot constrain their impact on glacial dynamics or their potential climatically driven increases in occurrence. Here we present a new open-access tool (GERALDINE) that helps a user detect 92 % of these events over the past 38 years on a global scale. We demonstrate its ability by identifying two new, large glacial landslides in the Hayes Range, Alaska.
David L. Adams and Andrea Zampiron
Earth Surf. Dynam., 8, 1039–1051,Short summary
This paper presents a novel method of estimating the relative contribution of different physical scales of river bed topography to the total roughness length, based on thalweg elevation profiles. By providing more detailed information regarding the interaction between surface topography and fluid dynamics, the proposed technique may contribute to advances in hydraulics, channel morphodynamics, and bedload transport. Also, it may provide alternatives to existing representative roughness metrics.
Kristian Svennevig, Trine Dahl-Jensen, Marie Keiding, John Peter Merryman Boncori, Tine B. Larsen, Sara Salehi, Anne Munck Solgaard, and Peter H. Voss
Earth Surf. Dynam., 8, 1021–1038,Short summary
The 17 June 2017 Karrat landslide in Greenland caused a tsunami that killed four people. We apply a multidisciplinary workflow to reconstruct a timeline of events and find that three historic landslides occurred in 2009, 2016, and 2017. We also find evidence of much older periods of landslide activity. Three newly discovered active slopes might pose a future hazard. We speculate that the trigger for the recent events is melting permafrost due to a warming climate.
Daniel J. Ciarletta, Jennifer L. Miselis, Justin L. Shawler, and Christopher J. Hein
Earth Surf. Dynam. Discuss.,
Revised manuscript accepted for ESurfShort summary
The world's sandy coastlines are increasingly altered by humans and sea-level rise, yet quantitative relationships between coastal landscapes and sediment availability remain poorly described. Using a novel modeling framework, we explore the evolution of coastal barrier islands under varying rates of sea-level rise and sediment availability. Our model results suggest that as sea levels increase, minor changes in sediment availability could result in rapid changes to barrier coasts.
Steven A. H. Weisscher, Marcio Boechat-Albernaz, Jasper R. F. W. Leuven, Wout M. Van Dijk, Yasuyuki Shimizu, and Maarten G. Kleinhans
Earth Surf. Dynam., 8, 955–972,Short summary
Accurate and continuous data collection is challenging in physical scale experiments. A novel means to augment measurements is to numerically model flow over the experimental digital elevation maps. We tested this modelling approach for one tidal and two river scale experiments and showed that modelled water depth and flow velocity closely resemble the measurements. The implication is that conducting experiments requires fewer measurements and results in flow data of better overall quality.
Carina Helm, Marwan A. Hassan, and David Reid
Earth Surf. Dynam., 8, 913–929,Short summary
Forested, gravel-bed streams possess complex channel morphologies which are difficult to objectively characterize. This paper describes a novel technique using a remotely piloted aircraft (RPA) to characterize these systems below the forest canopy. The results demonstrate the accuracy and coverage of RPAs for objectively characterizing and classifying these systems relative to more traditional, time-consuming techniques that are generally used in these environments.
Roberto Fernández and Gary Parker
Earth Surf. Dynam. Discuss.,
Revised manuscript under review for ESurfShort summary
We present a set of observations from laboratory experiments on meltwater meandering rivulets on ice and compare them (qualitatively and quantitatively) to patterns commonly found in meandering channels flowing over different materials. Our channels display great similarities with real rivers in spite of being much smaller. Higher temperature differences between water and ice create deeper and less sinuous channels with bends that preferentially point downstream and are not as rounded.
Nathan J. Lyons, Pedro Val, James S. Albert, Jane K. Willenbring, and Nicole M. Gasparini
Earth Surf. Dynam., 8, 893–912,Short summary
Organisms evolve in ever-changing environments under complex process interactions. We applied a new software modelling tool to assess how changes in river course impact the evolution of riverine species. Models illustrate the climatically and tectonically forced landscape changes that can drive riverine biodiversity, especially where topographic relief is low. This research demonstrates that river course changes can contribute to the high riverine biodiversity found in real-world lowland basins.
Andy R. Emery, David M. Hodgson, Natasha L. M. Barlow, Jonathan L. Carrivick, Carol J. Cotterill, Janet C. Richardson, Ruza F. Ivanovic, and Claire L. Mellett
Earth Surf. Dynam., 8, 869–891,Short summary
During the last ice age, sea level was lower, and the North Sea was land. The margin of a large ice sheet was at Dogger Bank in the North Sea. This ice sheet formed large rivers. After the ice sheet retreated down from the high point of Dogger Bank, the rivers had no water supply and dried out. Increased precipitation during the 15 000 years of land exposure at Dogger Bank formed a new drainage network. This study shows how glaciation and climate changes can control how drainage networks evolve.
Matteo Saletti and Marwan A. Hassan
Earth Surf. Dynam., 8, 855–868,Short summary
Mountain streams often display a stepped morphology but the conditions under which these steps form, remain stable, and eventually collapse are still not entirely clear. We run flume experiments to study how (a) the amount of sediment input and (b) channel width variations affect step dynamics in steep channels. Steps form preferentially in areas of flow convergence (channel narrowing) and their frequency is higher when sediment supply is larger than zero but smaller than the transport capacity.
Angel Monsalve, Catalina Segura, Nicole Hucke, and Scott Katz
Earth Surf. Dynam., 8, 825–839,Short summary
Part of the inaccuracies when estimating bed load transport in gravel-bed rivers is because we are not considering the wide distributions of shear stress in these systems. We modified a subsurface-based bed load transport equation to include these distributions. By doing so, our approach accurately predicts bed load transport rates when the pavement layer is still present, while the original one predicts zero transport. For high flows, our method had similar performance to the original equation.
Marco Redolfi, Matilde Welber, Mattia Carlin, Marco Tubino, and Walter Bertoldi
Earth Surf. Dynam., 8, 789–808,Short summary
Alternate bars are large sediment deposits that tend to naturally form in rivers when the channel width is sufficiently large. Our laboratory experiments on a scaled model reveal that equilibrium properties of self-formed alternate bars highly depend on the water discharge with respect to the relevant theoretical thresholds. This work provides fundamental information for predicting the response of rivers to natural or human alterations of the flow regime.
Marius L. Huber, Maarten Lupker, Sean F. Gallen, Marcus Christl, and Ananta P. Gajurel
Earth Surf. Dynam., 8, 769–787,Short summary
Large boulders found in two Himalayan valleys show signs of long fluvial transport (>10 km). Paleo-discharges required to mobilize these boulders exceed typical monsoon discharges. Exposure dating shows that a cluster of these boulders was emplaced ca. 5 kyr ago. This period is coeval with a weakening of the Indian monsoon and glacier retreat in the area. We, therefore, suggest that glacier lake outburst floods are likely mechanisms that can explain these exceptional transport processes.
Ingo Hartmeyer, Markus Keuschnig, Robert Delleske, Michael Krautblatter, Andreas Lang, Lothar Schrott, Günther Prasicek, and Jan-Christoph Otto
Earth Surf. Dynam., 8, 753–768,Short summary
Rockfall size and frequency in two deglaciating cirques in the Central Alps, Austria, is analysed based on 6-year rockwall monitoring with terrestrial lidar (2011–2017). The erosion rates derived from this dataset are very high due to a frequent occurrence of large rockfalls in freshly deglaciated areas. The results obtained are important for rockfall hazard assessments, as, in rockwalls affected by glacier retreat, historical rockfall patterns are not good predictors of future events.
Fritz Schlunegger, Romain Delunel, and Philippos Garefalakis
Earth Surf. Dynam., 8, 717–728,Short summary
We calculated the probability of sediment transport in coarse-grained mountainous streams in the Alps and the Andes where data on water discharge is available. We find a positive correlation between the predicted probability of sediment transport and the grain size sorting of the bed material. We suggest that besides sediment discharge, the bedload sorting exerts a significant influence on the mobility of sediment and thus on the stability of gravel bars in mountainous streams.
Magdalena Uber, Guillaume Nord, Cédric Legout, and Luis Cea
Earth Surf. Dynam. Discuss.,
Revised manuscript accepted for ESurfShort summary
Soil erosion and suspended sediment transport understanding is an important issue in terms of soil and water resources management. This study analyzes the impact of choices made during numerical model set-up on the modelled suspended sediment dynamics at the outlet of two meso scale watersheds. While the modelled liquid and solid discharges were found to be sensitive to these choices, the actual location of sediment sources in each catchment was the most important feature.
Daniel Peifer, Cristina Persano, Martin D. Hurst, Paul Bishop, and Derek Fabel
Earth Surf. Dynam. Discuss.,
Revised manuscript accepted for ESurfShort summary
Plate tectonics drives the formation of mountain ranges. Yet when tectonic forces cease, mountain ranges persist for hundreds of millions of years, forming major Earth surface features. Our contribution presents denudation rate estimates from one such ancient mountain range that show that denudation is strongly tied to rock type. Resistant rocks are denuding more slowly despite having much steeper topography and contrasts in rock type cause increasing relief in the absence of active tectonics.
Jagriti Mishra and Takuya Inoue
Earth Surf. Dynam., 8, 695–716,Short summary
This study provides an extensive review of field- and laboratory-scale studies and mathematical models used for predicting the sediment processes in bedrock river channels. We tested the model capabilities by reproducing and comparing the results with laboratory-scale experiments. This study provides an insight into the strengths and shortcomings of various available models.
Thomas O. Hoffmann, Yannik Baulig, Helmut Fischer, and Jan Blöthe
Earth Surf. Dynam., 8, 661–678,Short summary
We study the dynamics of suspended matter and associated nutrients in large rivers in Germany. The relationship between suspended sediment concentration and discharge is diagnostic of the processes and sources of suspended matter. We show that suspended matter originates from organic growth within the river at low flow and from soil erosion at high flow. In a warmer climate with increased frequency of droughts, low flow states are likely to be more prolonged, affecting the behavior of rivers.
Clare Wilkinson, Daniel C. H. Hikuroa, Angus H. Macfarlane, and Matthew W. Hughes
Earth Surf. Dynam., 8, 595–618,Short summary
This review highlights potential contributions that Indigenous knowledge can make to geomorphic research. We evaluate several frameworks and models for including Indigenous knowledge in geomorphic research and discuss how they can be adapted for use with Indigenous communities across the world. We propose that weaving Indigenous knowledge with geomorphic science has the potential to create new solutions and understandings that neither body of knowledge could produce in isolation.
Oliver R. Francis, Tristram C. Hales, Daniel E. J. Hobley, Xuanmei Fan, Alexander J. Horton, Gianvito Scaringi, and Runqiu Huang
Earth Surf. Dynam., 8, 579–593,Short summary
Large earthquakes can build mountains by uplifting bedrock, but they also erode them by triggering large volumes of coseismic landsliding. Using a zero-dimensional numerical model, we identify that the storage of sediment produced by earthquakes can affect surface uplift and exhumation rates across the mountain range. However, the storage also reduces the time span at which the impact of the earthquake can be measured, preventing the recognition of single earthquakes in many long-term records.
Alexander R. Groos, Janik Niederhauser, Luise Wraase, Falk Hänsel, Thomas Nauss, Naki Akçar, and Heinz Veit
Earth Surf. Dynam. Discuss.,
Revised manuscript accepted for ESurfShort summary
The magnitude of cooling in tropical high mountains during the last glacial period is controversially debated. Here, we report on enigmatic large sorted stone polygons and stripes from the ~ 4000 m high Sanetti Plateau in Ethiopia. Geomorphological features of that size are associated with seasonal or permanent frost and have yet only been described for few locations in the mid and high latitudes. The presence of these features implies a strong tropical cooling at high elevations in the past.
Maxime Mouyen, Philippe Steer, Kuo-Jen Chang, Nicolas Le Moigne, Cheinway Hwang, Wen-Chi Hsieh, Louise Jeandet, Laurent Longuevergne, Ching-Chung Cheng, Jean-Paul Boy, and Frédéric Masson
Earth Surf. Dynam., 8, 555–577,Short summary
Land erosion creates sediment particles that are redistributed from mountains to oceans through climatic, tectonic and human activities, but measuring the mass of redistributed sediment is difficult. Here we describe a new method combining gravity and photogrammetry measurements, which make it possible to weigh the mass of sediment redistributed by a landslide and a river in Taiwan from 2015 to 2017. Trying this method in other regions will help us to better understand the erosion process.
Benjamin Campforts, Veerle Vanacker, Frédéric Herman, Matthias Vanmaercke, Wolfgang Schwanghart, Gustavo E. Tenorio, Patrick Willems, and Gerard Govers
Earth Surf. Dynam., 8, 447–470,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.
Timothée Jautzy, Pierre-Alexis Herrault, Valentin Chardon, Laurent Schmitt, and Gilles Rixhon
Earth Surf. Dynam., 8, 471–484,Short summary
Remote sensing is widely used to document historical fluvial dynamics. However, the geometric error affecting the inferred planform changes can result in undesired geomorphological misinterpretation. Here, we present a novel approach to quantify the uncertainty associated with eroded/deposited surfaces. Concluding that this uncertainty depends on the magnitude and the shape of the surficial changes, restoration programs targeting lateral mobility of streams can benefit from our approach.
Jan de Leeuw, Michael P. Lamb, Gary Parker, Andrew J. Moodie, Daniel Haught, Jeremy G. Venditti, and Jeffrey A. Nittrouer
Earth Surf. Dynam., 8, 485–504,
Arya P. Iwantoro, Maarten van der Vegt, and Maarten G. Kleinhans
Earth Surf. Dynam., 8, 413–429,Short summary
We investigated the effect of tides on the morphodynamic evolution of bifurcations in tide-influenced deltas. Using results from a numerical morphodynamic model (Delft3D), we found that tides cause less asymmetric bifurcations and thereby keep both downstream channels open. Our results explain why avulsion rarely occurs in tide-influenced deltas, whereas it occurs more often in river-dominated deltas.
Katherine R. Barnhart, Eric W. H. Hutton, Gregory E. Tucker, Nicole M. Gasparini, Erkan Istanbulluoglu, Daniel E. J. Hobley, Nathan J. Lyons, Margaux Mouchene, Sai Siddhartha Nudurupati, Jordan M. Adams, and Christina Bandaragoda
Earth Surf. Dynam., 8, 379–397,Short summary
Landlab is a Python package to support the creation of numerical models in Earth surface dynamics. Since the release of the 1.0 version in 2017, Landlab has grown and evolved: it contains 31 new process components, a refactored model grid, and additional utilities. This contribution describes the new elements of Landlab, discusses why certain backward-compatiblity-breaking changes were made, and reflects on the process of community open-source software development.
Filipe Galiforni-Silva, Kathelijne M. Wijnberg, and Suzanne J. M. H. Hulscher
Earth Surf. Dynam., 8, 335–350,Short summary
Storm surges are often related to coastal dune erosion. We found that, for specific coastal settings, storm surges may enhance dune growth rather than only undermine it. Using a computer model and elevation data, we noticed that storm surges could deposit sand onto the sand flat from sand previously deposited closer to the sea. As they move to areas farther from the sea, it becomes easier for the wind to move this sand to the dunes. These findings may help coastal managers and policymakers.
Giovanni Coco, Daniel Calvete, Francesca Ribas, Huib E. de Swart, and Albert Falqués
Earth Surf. Dynam., 8, 323–334,Short summary
Sandbars are ubiquitous features of the surf zone. They are rarely straight and often develop crescentic shapes. Double sandbar systems are also common, but the possibility of feedback between inner and outer sandbars has not been fully explored. The presence of double sandbar systems affects wave transformation and can result in a variety of spatial patterns. Here we model the conditions, waves and initial bathymetry that lead to the emergence of different patterns.
Léo Szewczyk, Jean-Louis Grimaud, and Isabelle Cojan
Earth Surf. Dynam., 8, 275–288,
Dana Ariel Lapides and Michael Manga
Earth Surf. Dynam., 8, 195–210,Short summary
Spring-fed streams throughout volcanic regions of the western United States are wider than runoff-fed streams with similar flow levels. We used high-resolution satellite imagery in combination with flow and climate data to examine the relationship between wood loading and stream width in 38 spring-fed and 20 runoff-fed streams. This study identifies distinct wood dynamics in spring-fed and runoff-fed streams and a strong correlation between stream width and wood length in spring-fed streams.
Alison R. Duvall, Sarah A. Harbert, Phaedra Upton, Gregory E. Tucker, Rebecca M. Flowers, and Camille Collett
Earth Surf. Dynam., 8, 177–194,Short summary
In this study, we examine river patterns and the evolution of the landscape within the Marlborough Fault System, South Island, New Zealand, where the Australian and Pacific tectonic plates collide. We find that faulting, uplift, river capture and the long-lived nature of the drainage network all dictate river patterns at this site. Based on these results and a wealth of previous geologic studies, we propose two broad stages of landscape evolution over the last 25 million years of orogenesis.
Kate C. P. Leary and Daniel Buscombe
Earth Surf. Dynam., 8, 161–172,
Jens Martin Turowski
Earth Surf. Dynam., 8, 103–122,Short summary
Bedrock channels are the conveyor belts of mountain regions, evacuating sediment produced by erosion. Bedrock channel morphology and dynamics affect sediment transport rates and local erosion and set the base level for hillslope response. Here, using mechanistic considerations of the processes of fluvial erosion and transport, and considerations of the mass balance of sediment and bedrock, I discuss the principles governing steady-state channel morphology and the dynamic paths to achieve it.
Jon Schwenk, Anastasia Piliouras, and Joel C. Rowland
Earth Surf. Dynam., 8, 87–102,Short summary
Standing on a riverbank, it is usually obvious which direction the river flows. However, when observing a river from space, we cannot see the flowing water and must use other clues to determine flow directions. For complicated river channel networks like those of deltas and braided rivers, determining the flow direction of each channel within the network is not trivial. We present and demonstrate a method to automatically determine flow directions for each link in aerially viewed river channels.
William H. Booker and Brett C. Eaton
Earth Surf. Dynam., 8, 51–67,Short summary
Using experiments, we found that the form and behaviour of a river depends on its ability to move the larger of its constituents. The manner in which all particles move depends upon the rate and calibre of the supplied material, as well as the rate of supplied water. This goes against the prevailing theory of a single important and representative grain size under depositing conditions, and these results may alter how we interpret river deposits to explain their formation.
Eli D. Lazarus, Kirstin L. Davenport, and Ana Matias
Earth Surf. Dynam., 8, 37–50,Short summary
Scaling relationships mathematically describe how two geometric traits of a geomorphic feature change relative to each other in a systematic way (how length changes with area in drainage basins and sedimentary deposits, for example). Here we demonstrate the emergence of scaling relationships in coastal overwash morphology. These findings may help to predict overwash deposition and offer insight into how spatial patterns in overwash morphology may self-organise.
Martin Jakobsson, Matt O'Regan, Carl-Magnus Mörth, Christian Stranne, Elizabeth Weidner, Jim Hansson, Richard Gyllencreutz, Christoph Humborg, Tina Elfwing, Alf Norkko, Joanna Norkko, Björn Nilsson, and Arne Sjöström
Earth Surf. Dynam., 8, 1–15,Short summary
We studied coastal sea floor terraces in parts of the Baltic Sea using various types of sonar data, sediment cores, and video. Terraces (~1 m high, > 100 m long) are widespread in depths < 15 m and are formed in glacial clay. Our study supports an origin from groundwater flow through silty layers, undermining overlying layers when discharged at the sea floor. Submarine groundwater discharge like this may be a significant source of freshwater to the Baltic Sea that needs to be studied further.
Timothée Sassolas-Serrayet, Rodolphe Cattin, Matthieu Ferry, Vincent Godard, and Martine Simoes
Earth Surf. Dynam., 7, 1041–1057,Short summary
The topographic steady-state assumption is often used in geomorphology. However, recent studies suggest that a drainage network is more mobile than previously thought. Using landscape evolution models, we show that those migrations have a significant impact on basin-wide denudation rates even if an overall topographic steady state is achieved at large scale. Our approach provides new tools to derive minimal uncertainties in basin-scale denudation rates due to this topographic disequilibrium.
Florence Magnin, Bernd Etzelmüller, Sebastian Westermann, Ketil Isaksen, Paula Hilger, and Reginald L. Hermanns
Earth Surf. Dynam., 7, 1019–1040,Short summary
This study proposes the first permafrost (i.e. ground with temperature permanently < 0 °C) map covering the steep rock slopes of Norway. It was created by using rock temperature data collected at the near surface of 25 rock walls spread across the country between 2010 and 2018. The map shows that permafrost mostly exists above 1300–1400 m a.s.l. in southern Norway and close to sea level in northern Norway. The results have strong potential for the study of rock wall sliding and failure.
Michele Delchiaro, Marta Della Seta, Salvatore Martino, Maryam Dehbozorgi, and Reza Nozaem
Earth Surf. Dynam., 7, 929–947,Short summary
This study provides insights into the causes and effects of the largest landslide and related damming that occurred on the emerged Earth surface. Understanding the hazard conditions is important for refining risk mitigation strategies for extreme landslide scenarios. We mapped and dated lacustrine and fluvial terrace sediments constraining the evolutionary model of the valley, thus providing the basis for future studies on the possible seismic trigger for such an extreme case study.
Roberto Fernández, Gary Parker, and Colin P. Stark
Earth Surf. Dynam., 7, 949–968,Short summary
This paper describes the case of a meandering bedrock river with loose sediment on the bed. In such rivers, the sediment hits and erodes the bed as it moves with the flow. We did experiments in a laboratory flume to identify the areas where the sediment moves and those where it deposits. We discovered that the size and location of those areas change with the amount of sediment in the channel and its curvature. The fluctuations of sediment cover over the bed drive the erosion potential.
Gerard Salter, Vaughan R. Voller, and Chris Paola
Earth Surf. Dynam., 7, 911–927,Short summary
Bifurcations are the switches that steer water and sediment in delta and multithread river networks, playing an important role in shaping the landscape. In lab experiments, we found that when the downstream branches grow through time, frequent switching in the water and sediment partitioning occurs. In contrast, once sediment freely exits the downstream boundary, long periods of time when one branch dominates occur; however, unlike our theoretical prediction, these are not permanent.
Noah J. Finnegan, Kiara N. Broudy, Alexander L. Nereson, Joshua J. Roering, Alexander L. Handwerger, and Georgina Bennett
Earth Surf. Dynam., 7, 879–894,Short summary
In some settings, landslides trigger valley blockages that impound huge volumes of sediment, often drastically changing river habitat and habitability. In other settings, landslides appear to have little effect on rivers. In this study, we explore what governs the different sensitivity of rivers to blocking from landslide debris. We accomplish this by comparing two sites in California with dramatic differences in blocking from otherwise similar slow-moving landslides.
Benjamin Purinton and Bodo Bookhagen
Earth Surf. Dynam., 7, 859–877,Short summary
We develop and test new methods for counting pebble-size distributions in photos of gravel-bed rivers. Our open-source algorithms provide good estimates in complex imagery from high-energy mountain rivers. We discuss methods of river cross-section photo collection and processing into seamless georeferenced imagery. Application of a semi-automated version of the algorithm in small patches can be used as validation data for upscaling to entire survey sites using a fully automated version.
Russell T. Bair, Catalina Segura, and Christopher M. Lorion
Earth Surf. Dynam., 7, 841–857,Short summary
Large wood (LW) pieces are often part of fish habitat restoration projects. We investigated reach-scale changes after the addition of LW that are relevant to juvenile coho salmon. A survivable habitat for juvenile coho was characterized in terms of critical swim speed and bed stability. Model predictions showed that survivable habitat increased by 86–128 % in terms of flow velocity and bed stability. Our findings are applicable to stream restoration efforts throughout the Pacific Northwest.
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Suspended sediment load in rivers is highly uncertain because of spatial and temporal variability. By means of a hydrology and suspended sediment transport model, we investigated the effect of spatial variability in precipitation and surface erodibility on catchment sediment fluxes in a mesoscale river basin. We found that sediment load depends on the spatial variability in erosion drivers, as this affects erosion rates and the location and connectivity to the channel of the erosion areas.
Suspended sediment load in rivers is highly uncertain because of spatial and temporal...