Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/esurf-2021-1
https://doi.org/10.5194/esurf-2021-1

  22 Jan 2021

22 Jan 2021

Review status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal ESurf.

A stream-power law for glacial erosion and its implementation in large-scale landform-evolution models

Stefan Hergarten Stefan Hergarten
  • Institut für Geo- und Umweltnaturwissenschaften, Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg, Albertstr. 23B, 79104 Freiburg, Germany

Abstract. Modeling glacial landform evolution is more challenging than modeling fluvial landform evolution. While several numerical models of large-scale fluvial erosion are available, there are only a few models of glacial erosion, and their application over long time spans requires a high numerical effort. In this paper, a simple formulation of glacial erosion which is similar to the fluvial stream-power model is presented. The model reproduces the occurrence of overdeepenings, hanging valleys, and steps at confluences at least qualitatively. Beyond this, it allows for a seamless coupling to fluvial erosion and sediment transport. The recently published direct numerical scheme for fluvial erosion and sediment transport can be applied to the entire domain, where the numerical effort is only moderately higher than for a purely fluvial system. Simulations over several million years on lattices of several million nodes can be performed on standard PCs. An open-source implementation is freely available as a part of the landform evolution model OpenLEM.

Stefan Hergarten

Status: final response (author comments only)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on esurf-2021-1', Eric Deal, 17 Feb 2021
    • AC1: 'Reply on RC1', Stefan Hergarten, 22 Feb 2021
  • CC1: 'Comment on esurf-2021-1', Flavien Beaud, 06 Mar 2021
    • AC2: 'Reply on CC1', Stefan Hergarten, 06 Mar 2021
  • RC2: 'Comment on esurf-2021-1', Marc Jaffrey, 14 Apr 2021
    • AC3: 'Reply on RC2', Stefan Hergarten, 14 Apr 2021
  • RC4: 'Comment on esurf-2021-1', Marc Jaffrey, 16 Apr 2021
    • AC4: 'Reply on RC4', Stefan Hergarten, 18 Apr 2021

Stefan Hergarten

Stefan Hergarten

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Short summary
This paper presents a new approach to modeling glacial erosion on large scales. The formalism is similar to large-scale models of fluvial erosion, so glacial and fluvial processes can be easily combined. The model is simpler and numerically less demanding than established models based on a more detailed description of the ice flux. The numerical implementation achieves almost the efficiency of purely fluvial models, so that simulations over millions of years can be performed on standard PCs.