Modelling fluvial incision and transient landscape evolution: Influence of dynamic Channel adjustment.
Journal of Geophysical Research: Earth Surface
Channel geometry exerts a fundamental control on fluvial processes. Recent work has shown that bedrock channel width depends on a number of parameters, including channel slope, and is not solely a function of drainage area as is commonly assumed. The present work represents the first attempt to investigate the consequences of dynamic, gradient-sensitive channel adjustment for drainage-basin evolution. We use the Channel-Hillslope Integrated Landscape Development (CHILD) model to analyze the response of a catchment to a given tectonic perturbation, using, as a template, the topography of a well-documented catchment in the footwall of an active normal fault in the Apennines (Italy) that is known to be undergoing a transient response to tectonic forcing. We show that the observed transient response can be reproduced to first order with a simple detachment-limited fluvial incision law. Transient landscape is characterized by gentler gradients and a shorter response time when dynamic channel adjustment is allowed. The differences in predicted channel, geometry between the static case (width dependent solely on upstream area) and dynamic case (width dependent on both drainage area and channel slope) lead to contrasting landscape morphologies when integrated at the scale of a whole catchment, particularly in presence of strong tilting and/or pronounced slip-rate acceleration. Our results emphasize the importance of channel width in controlling fluvial processes and landscape evolution. They stress the need for using a dynamic hydraulic scaling law whe modeling landscape evolution, particularly when the relative uplift field is nonuniform. Copyright 2008 by the American Geophysical Union.
|Title:||Modelling fluvial incision and transient landscape evolution: Influence of dynamic Channel adjustment|
|UCL classification:||UCL > School of BEAMS > Faculty of Maths and Physical Sciences > Earth Sciences|
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