Articles | Volume 9, issue 4
Research article
27 Aug 2021
Research article |  | 27 Aug 2021

Sediment size on talus slopes correlates with fracture spacing on bedrock cliffs: implications for predicting initial sediment size distributions on hillslopes

Joseph P. Verdian, Leonard S. Sklar, Clifford S. Riebe, and Jeffrey R. Moore


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Short summary
River behavior depends on the size of rocks they carry. Rocks are born on hillslopes where erosion removes fragments from solid bedrock. To understand what controls the size of rock fragments, we measured the spacing between cracks exposed in 15 bare-rock cliffs and the size of rocks on the ground below. We found that, for each site, the average rock size could be predicted from the average distance between cracks, which varied with rock type. This shows how rock type can influence rivers.