Articles | Volume 9, issue 3
Earth Surf. Dynam., 9, 539–576, 2021
https://doi.org/10.5194/esurf-9-539-2021
Earth Surf. Dynam., 9, 539–576, 2021
https://doi.org/10.5194/esurf-9-539-2021

Research article 16 Jun 2021

Research article | 16 Jun 2021

Rarefied particle motions on hillslopes – Part 1: Theory

David Jon Furbish et al.

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Latest update: 21 Sep 2021
Short summary
Sediment particles skitter down steep hillslopes on Earth and Mars. Particles gain speed in going downhill but are slowed down and sometimes stop due to collisions with the rough surface. The likelihood of stopping depends on the energetics of speeding up (heating) versus slowing down (cooling). Statistical physics predicts that particle travel distances are described by a generalized Pareto distribution whose form varies with the Kirkby number – the ratio of heating to cooling.