Articles | Volume 9, issue 5
Earth Surf. Dynam., 9, 1279–1300, 2021
https://doi.org/10.5194/esurf-9-1279-2021
Earth Surf. Dynam., 9, 1279–1300, 2021
https://doi.org/10.5194/esurf-9-1279-2021

Research article 20 Sep 2021

Research article | 20 Sep 2021

Hilltop curvature as a proxy for erosion rate: wavelets enable rapid computation and reveal systematic underestimation

William T. Struble and Joshua J. Roering

Data sets

Short Communication: TopoToolbox 2 – MATLAB-based software for topographic analysis and modeling in Earth surface sciences (https://topotoolbox.wordpress.com/download) W. Schwanghart and D. Scherler https://doi.org/10.5194/esurf-2-1-2014

Automated landslide mapping using spectral analysis and high-resolution topographic data: Puget Sound lowlands, Washington, and Portland Hills, Oregon (http://web.pdx.edu/~boothad/tools.html) Adam M. Booth, Josh J. Roering, and J. Taylor Perron https://doi.org/10.1016/j.geomorph.2009.02.027

HilltopCurvature W. T. Struble https://github.com/wtstruble

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Short summary
We used a mathematical technique known as a wavelet transform to calculate the curvature of hilltops in western Oregon, which we used to estimate erosion rate. We find that this technique operates over 1000 times faster than other techniques and produces accurate erosion rates. We additionally built artificial hillslopes to test the accuracy of curvature measurement methods. We find that at fast erosion rates, curvature is underestimated, raising questions of measurement accuracy elsewhere.