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ISSN: 0169-555X (1872-695X)
Geosciences, Multidisciplinary - Geography, Physical - Earth-Surface Processes
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Recent articles

1 show abstract
0169-555X * * 27820172
Publication date: Available online 21 September 2018

Source: Geomorphology
Author(s): Hervé Piégay, Antoine Chabot, Yves-François Le Lay

What is a resilient system' From an (eco)geomorphic point of view, the answer is complex owing to the polysemy of the term resilience and its wide range of uses from one discipline to another. In all cases, this concept provides a way of thinking of rivers' future in terms of persistence, sometimes cyclically, sometimes with respect to evolutionary trajectories, and with or without humans as internal parameters. The popularity of resilience in ecology and amongst the social-ecological systems community, following the pioneer works of Holling (1973), has influenced the way we consider the concept in geomorphology and creates misunderstanding and debates. In this contribution, we retrace the evolution of the term over time, introduce the different types of resilience, resilience to pulse, ramp or press disturbances, and show its implicit presence in (fluvial) system theory. Both schools of thought highlight trajectory patterns of systems with positive visions of Earth's future. We then explore some challenging issues in ecogeomorphology related to resilience when considering system responses to discrete events and to a set of internal or external drivers.

2 show abstract
0169-555X * * 28663466
Publication date: Available online 8 December 2018

Source: Geomorphology
Author(s): Andrew Goudie

Concern with the human impact in Geomorphology has a long history. What is new is that since 1969 a number of developments have taken place that have led to an increasing realisation of its importance. These developments are in four main areas: (i) intellectual and policy-related; (ii) technological developments that alter geomorphological processes; (iii) demographic trends; and (iv) the proliferation of techniques for the study of landform and process change. There has been a realisation of the role of humans in landscape transformation in ancient times. The human impact has developed through time, but particularly notable are the potential early effects of fire, extinctions and deforestation on geomorphological processes. The spread of European agriculture, particularly in the nineteenth century, transformed erosion and sedimentation rates in many parts of the world. Notwithstanding the importance of some of these changes in prehistoric and historic times, recent researches have demonstrated that humans have become an increasingly important agent of geomorphological change during the period of the Great Acceleration of the past five or six decades. The interest in global warming that has developed since the early 1980s has created considerable interest in its consequences for a range of geomorphological phenomena. It is also becoming apparent that anthropogenic geomorphological change is having an impact on the Earth System as a whole. Finally, Geomorphologists have taken an increasing interest in how they can make an impact in the field of landscape conservation.

3 show abstract
0169-555X * * 28663467
Publication date: Available online 7 December 2018

Source: Geomorphology
Author(s): Ellen Wohl

During the past 50 yr, the number and variety of papers written by U.S. fluvial geomorphologists that examine human alterations of rivers has accelerated substantially. From an initial focus primarily on how human-induced changes in land cover influence sediment yield and river dynamics, the literature has expanded to emphasize the effects of flow regulation, channel engineering, removal of large wood and beavers, and changing climate. These multiple human influences are now widely recognized to have resulted in global-scale cumulative effects including significantly altered fluxes of water, sediment, nitrogen, and carbon, and complete transformation of river networks across much of the planet. One outgrowth of this recognition is the increasing involvement of geomorphologists in diverse forms of river restoration, a form of river management that thus far has largely been dominated by engineers. Acknowledging the ubiquity of human alteration of rivers implies that (i) investigators cannot assume that even the most remote and seemingly pristine river segment has not been affected at least indirectly by people, (ii) the use of reference conditions requires careful consideration with respect to what reference sites indicate about past conditions, as well as their relevance for the future, (iii) detailed geomorphic understanding of the nature and timing of past human alterations of rivers is likely to be critical to effective restoration, and (iv) each scientist must decide how to engage within the context of research and advocacy with the issues of ecosystem degradation and loss of river form and function.

4 show abstract
0169-555X * * 29484598
Publication date: Available online 26 February 2019

Source: Geomorphology
Author(s): James Gardner

Research over approximately 200 yr on the geomorphic effects of the force of water, wind, waves and ice is reviewed. In a changed scientific, technological, institutional and socio-political context, several trends emerge. Increased focus on measurement of processes from the 1930s onwards was facilitated by new technologies, leading eventually to a blurring of disciplinary boundaries and the emergence of geomorphology as an Earth system science. Human impact research and applications have blossomed and are contributing to an emerging understanding of the Anthropocene. Absolute dating techniques have reinvigorated landform and landscape evolution research, while remote sensing and geospatial science generally have enhanced observation, measurement and modeling of terrestrial and planetary surface and subsurface forms and processes. The historical record demonstrates that geomorphology has attained scientific vigour and societal relevance through fascinating journeys of curiosity, exploration, mapping, measurement, modeling and explanation.

5 show abstract
0169-555X * * 29520203
Publication date: Available online 1 March 2019

Source: Geomorphology
Author(s): Victor R. Baker

The annual Binghamton Geomorphology Symposia (BGS) began in 1970, initiated by Professors Donald R. Coates and Marie Morisawa of the State University of New York at Binghamton. The 50 BGS meeting topics through 2019 can be organized into five general themes, as follows: (1) Applications; (2) Methods; (3) Process and Form; (4) History, Philosophy, and Theory; (5) Systems. My own geomorphological research can be divided among these themes, though it has not always been in tune with any prevailing paradigm. The experience of the BGS meetings suggests that the immediate future of geomorphology will follow current trends involving technological advances in such areas as geochronology, geospatial analysis, lidar mapping, computer simulation, and systems-based predictive modeling. For the longer term it may be that the research frontiers will lie in outer and inner space, with the former involving the discovery and analysis of the surfaces of Earth-like planets within and beyond our own solar system. The challenges of inner space may be even more profound as they are imposed against the background of rapidly accelerating advances in artificial intelligence.

6 show abstract
0169-555X * * 29696451
Publication date: Available online 15 March 2019

Source: Geomorphology
Author(s): Pascal Bertran, Kevin Manchuel, Deborah Sicilia

We discuss the significance of deformation structures in Quaternary sediments observed by Grube (2019) in the Peissen quarries (NW Germany) in light of the geological context. Evidence for polygonal patterns visible in aerial images in the study area shows that the wedge structures interpreted by Grube (2019) as earthquake-induced sand blows may rather correspond to thermal contraction cracks filled with aeolian sand in a permafrost environment. In the study sites, brittle deformations caused by (i) the rise of a salt diapir, (ii) salt dissolution, (iii) the development of Pleistocene permafrost and (iv) possibly, water circulation under pressure in the Scandinavian ice sheet margin may have coexisted. We support the idea that, while the morphology of deformation generally makes it possible to determine the stress state to which the sediments have been subjected and the quantity of water available in the system at the time of deformation, the nature of the factors causing the stresses remains difficult to identify. In the end, we highlight other useful criteria that should be privileged for palaeoseismic research in such complex geological settings.

7 show abstract
0169-555X * * 30015441
Publication date: Available online 5 April 2019

Source: Geomorphology
Author(s): Max Boxleitner, Susan Ivy-Ochs, Markus Egli, Dagmar Brandova, Marcus Christl, Max Maisch

In order to improve our understanding of the glacier development in central Switzerland after the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM) we have investigated moraine sequences of the Meiental (“Meien Valley”). After detailed field mapping, 34 rock samples from different moraines were dated with cosmogenic 10Be. The results indicate that the investigated moraines were deposited mainly in multi-phased advances during the Younger Dryas and the Early Holocene. This is in contrast to previous studies suggesting that these moraines represent equivalents of the older Egesen and Daun stadials. Our research shows that factors like the moraine stratigraphy, geomorphologic characteristics and Equilibrium Line Altitudes (ELAs) can be highly variable at the local scale, which can make a stadial correlation of moraines between different valleys or regions within the Alps without age constraints ambiguous and unreliable. Against this background the interregional use of ΔELAs (ELA depressions) for the parallelization of paleo-glacier extents throughout the Alps according to traditional concepts of the Lateglacial deglaciation seems to produce erroneous results. Geomorphologic observations and relative age relationships in moraine successions based on stratigraphic principles remain the basis for this kind of studies. But as we show here it is necessary to base local-to-regional comparisons of moraine sequences additionally on exposure ages to gain a more reliable understanding of the Alpine glacier development after the LGM.

8 show abstract
0169-555X * * 30041711
Publication date: Available online 9 April 2019

Source: Geomorphology
Author(s): Edward Keller, Chandler Adamaitis, Paul Alessio, Sarah Anderson, Erica Goto, Summer Gray, Larry Gurrola, Kristen Morell

Geomorphology is a pure science with the goal of understanding Earth surface processes and landscape evolution, and it is also an applied science with the goal of addressing the needs of society. With many new high-resolution methods of depicting topography and much improved numerical dating, geomorphologists are working on problems involving rates of surface processes, landscape evolution, and applications to areas of concern to society that were impossible to address a few decades ago.
Some of the areas of enquiry where geomorphology has been applied include: natural hazards (landslides, floods, earthquakes, and tsunamis), ecosystem management, site anthropology, land-use planning, engineering geology, expert witness testimony, and hazard reduction, assessment, and perception. How people perceive and respond to potential hazards, how their vulnerability can increase their risk, and how preparedness and response can be improved depends as much on the social sciences as on physical science.

Graphical abstract

9 show abstract
0169-555X * * 30095046
Publication date: Available online 14 April 2019

Source: Geomorphology
Author(s): Nancy L. Jackson, Karl F. Nordstrom

Trends in research on morphologic changes on beaches and foredunes on sandy shores are identified from the 1960s to the present. Research during this period evolved from early descriptive explanation and classification of profile change, to instrumented field investigations, to modelling of landform change at larger scales. Research efforts have become increasingly more collaborative, with increasing use of field instrumentation, data acquisition systems and remote sensing. Rich datasets are resulting in more comprehensive computational models. Human-altered systems are of increasing interest, but knowledge of these systems lags far behind knowledge of natural systems. Research is becoming more relevant to societal needs as the vulnerability of coastal populations increases. The need for investigation of understudied or unexplored environments, including human altered ones, is ongoing. Many basic research issues remain, but future studies would profit from the development of new models rather than validating or reconfiguring old models. Collaboration between geomorphologists and engineers may open up research opportunities, particularly in modifying beaches and dunes built for shore protection to provide natural values in restricted space. Application of models to enhance knowledge of effects of sea level rise and coastal storms would be useful to managers developing resiliency plans.

10 show abstract
0169-555X * * 30171615
Publication date: Available online 22 April 2019

Source: Geomorphology
Author(s): David Jarman, Stephan Harrison

In this first full review of extant Quaternary Rock Slope Failure (RSF) in the British mountains, we provide a near-complete inventory of 1082 sites, 40% being rock slope deformations, 40% arrested rockslides, and 20% rock avalanches. Current RSF activity is negligible, and this relict population is predominantly paraglacial, with a parafluvial minority. Its spatial distribution is perplexing, with RSF density varying greatly, both regionally and locally. In the Scottish Highlands, eight main clusters account for 76% of RSF area in 15% of the montane area. Local concentrations occur in all the British ranges, across high and low relief, in core and peripheral locations, and on varied geological and glaciological domains; as conversely do extensive areas of sparsity, even in similar lithologies. Generic interpretations are thus precluded. Geology is only a secondary control. An association with Concentrated Erosion of Bedrock (CEB) is proposed, as a driver of intensified slope stresses. CEB is most evident at those glacial breaches of main divides where the most vigorous recent incision is inferred, and also in some trough-heads. A clear association between RSFs and these ‘late-developing’ breaches is demonstrated in the Highlands, in 42 localities, with sparsity away from them. It is also seen in seven Lake District localities. Glaciological models identify ice sheet volatility capable of driving breach ramification. High-magnitude paleoseismic events are generally unlikely to have provoked RSF clusters; a few candidates are considered. RSF has been underrated as an agent of mountain landscape evolution in Britain; its spatio-temporal incidence may assist in calibrating regional ice sheet models, and in assessing climate change impacts. We argue that the CEB:RSF association has global relevance in identifying primary drivers of mass movement in bedrock.
11 show abstract
0169-555X * * 30200373
Publication date: Available online 27 April 2019

Source: Geomorphology
Author(s): Qiang Zou, Peng Cui, Jing He, Yu Lei, Shusong Li

By considering the integrity of microcosmic and comprehensive geomorphological features, this article intends to develop a quantitative method for regional risk assessment of debris flow by analyzing the in-depth relations among hazard-forming environments, disaster factors and elements at risk. Taking the debris flows in the Longxi River Basin in China as a case study, an approach based on the hydrological response unit (HRU) is proposed by establishing both a model and system for regional risk assessment to analyze the hazard of debris flows and the exposure and vulnerability of elements at risk. The HRU-based approach consists of 11 disaster factors: topographic slope; relative elevation difference; lithology; channel gradient; fault; disturbed area; rainfall; and the type, location, fragility and economic value of the elements at risk. Specifically, a hazard integrated model is built by considering the hazard factors and their corresponding weights to evaluate the hazard level of debris flow. Through determining the type, quantity, distribution, economic value and fragility of hazard-affected objects in a region, methods are established to determine the exposure and vulnerability of different elements at risk. Validated by using a field study of actual debris flows, a debris-flow risk map is obtained, and the assessment results are in accordance with the actual disaster situation. The analyses show that the distributions of zones with high risk and above (i.e., where hazard densities and economic activities are considerably high) are closely correlated with the topographic and socioeconomic characteristics of the debris flow catchment. These findings suggest that the assessment results provide scientific support for planning measures to prevent or reduce debris flow hazards; thus, the presented method may serve as a pertinent guidance for regional risk assessment of debris flows in both the Longxi River Basin and beyond.

12 show abstract
0169-555X * * 30200374
Publication date: Available online 27 April 2019

Source: Geomorphology
Author(s): Yanrong Li, Ping Mo

Over the last few decades, many landslide classification systems have been developed. Inconsistencies across these systems have inevitably led to ambiguity, confusion, and contradictions. Specifically, there has been no consensus on what types of slope movements and failures constitute landslides. As a result, landslide classification systems based on the same criteria do not always include the same types of slope failures. On the other hand, general landslide classification systems do not take into account the unique characteristics of slope failures in loess, which covers about 6.7% of the Earth's land surface. Most literature on loess is in Chinese and the nomenclature, both within the Chinese literature and between the Chinese and English literature, is often not readily comparable. Therefore, there is a need for a consistent and comprehensive system for classification of loess-slope failures to be developed to better manage these particular geohazards as the presence and interactions of humans with the environment in loess areas continue to increase.
In this paper, a critical review of landslide classification systems was conducted to identify their limitations, as well as their relevant criteria for classifying loess-slope failures. Understanding the mechanisms underlying the failure of loess slopes is critical for creating a realistic and comprehensive classification system for slope failures. The classification systems of loess-slope failures unified in this paper are based on detailed analyses of the possible mechanisms underlying each class of failure. The primary classification criteria are types of movement and materials, with other descriptive criteria used to explain differences among different classes. For each class, one or two typical case histories are presented. A comprehensive collection of the literature reviewed in this study will facilitate future research on loess geohazards.

Graphical abstract

13 show abstract
0169-555X * * 30200375
Publication date: Available online 27 April 2019

Source: Geomorphology
Author(s): Emma L.M. Lewington, Stephen J. Livingstone, Andrew J. Sole, Chris D. Clark, Felix S.L. Ng

Elongated tracts of hummocks or ‘hummock corridors’, exposed on palaeo-ice sheet beds, are believed to represent former subglacial meltwater pathways. Here, we present a method, coded in MATLAB, for automatically detecting and mapping hummock corridors from high-resolution digital elevation models (DEMs). Initially the DEM is filtered to remove bed roughness outside the size range of hummocks. A Fast Fourier Transform is then performed to determine the dominant orientation of hummock corridors and remove misaligned features. Finally, image segmentation is used to isolate and extract the hummock corridors as a binary mask. We tested this automated approach visually and statistically against detailed manual mapping in three areas of Canada and northern Scandinavia. Results show that while the automated method does not perfectly reproduce the manual mapping, it successfully captures the general configuration, morphometry (length, width) and location of hummock corridors, despite variation in expression across and between sites. This technique is ideally suited to take advantage of newly available high-resolution digital elevation data (e.g. the ArcticDEM), whose enormous volume makes large-scale manual mapping prohibitively time consuming. Its application will enable efficient and comprehensive mapping of the spatial distribution of hummock corridors across palaeo-beds that is necessary for deriving insights into their formation and the organisation of subglacial meltwater flow beneath ice sheets.

14 show abstract
0169-555X * * 30200376
Publication date: Available online 26 April 2019

Source: Geomorphology
Author(s): Chuanqi He, Gang Rao, Rong Yang, Jianmin Hu, Qi Yao, Ci-Jian Yang

Drainage divides play significant roles in shaping landscapes. Nevertheless, they are not static through space and time. Previous numerical models have demonstrated divide motions in response to asymmetric tectonic uplift. However, natural examples that have nicely recorded these processes and hence could verify the results of numerical simulations are still lacking. In this contribution, we integrate the results of digital elevation models (DEMs)-based morphotectonic analysis with the tectonic landforms observed during field surveys to investigate the status of topography and probable drainage evolution history of the Wula Shan (Shan means ‘Mountain(s)’ in Chinese), a roughly west-east trending horst block bounded by normal faults in the Hetao Graben, North China. The results demonstrate that the differences of obtained geomorphic indices are significant between the southern and northern drainage basins; higher hypsometric integral (HI) and normalized channel steepness (k

) values, and lower ratios of valley floor width to valley height (VF) indicate higher tectonic uplift rate at the southern flank. The main divide of the Wula Shan had migrated northward, which was probably caused by the decrease of asymmetry in vertical uplift associated with the margin faults. We suggest the results of this study may shed new light on divide mobility as well as landscape evolution in actively extending regions.

15 show abstract
0169-555X * * 30200377
Publication date: Available online 26 April 2019

Source: Geomorphology
Author(s): Fumitoshi Imaizumi, Takeshi Masui, Yushi Yokota, Haruka Tsunetaka, Yuichi Hayakawa, Norifumi Hotta

The characteristics of debris flows (e.g., velocity, discharge, kinematic energy) are highly dependent on surges incurring abrupt changes to flow height, velocity, and boulder concentration. Therefore, understanding the initiation and runout characteristics of surges is essential when planning debris flow mitigation. Monitoring performed using 10 time-lapse cameras (TLCs) in Ohya landslide, central Japan, where debris flows occur frequently due to mobilization of storage (i.e., talus cone and channel deposits), allowed us to obtain data on a series of surge processes, from initiation to termination, which occurred during each debris flow event. We also analyzed temporal changes in the spatial distribution of storage in the debris flow initiation zone, associated with sediment supply from hillslopes and evacuation of sediment by the occurrence of debris flows, through periodic measurements of topography using unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). Debris flow surges were mainly induced by repetitive mass movement of storage through the erosion of channel deposits by overland flow, sliding of channel deposits, and sediment and water supply from channel banks and tributaries. Development of a spontaneous wave on the flow surface was not an important formation process of surges in the Ohya landslide. Many debris flow surges initiated at channel sections with deep storage (>2 m in depth), located <30 m below a junction with a tributary, when the maximum 10-min rainfall intensity exceeded 5 mm. Partly saturated flow, which has an unsaturated layer in its upper part, was the predominant flow type in the steep initiation zone, while fully saturated flow was predominant in the gentle transportation and deposition zones. Flow type often changed as the surges descended. Partly saturated flow was predominant when the volume of storage in the initiation zone was large, whereas fully saturated flow was predominant when the volume of storage was small. When we compared debris flows with similar total sediment volume, travel distance was long when fully saturated flow with high flow mobility was predominant because of the small volume of storage in the initiation zone. The volume of storage also affected flow path avulsion on the debris flow fan by controlling the flow mobility of surges. Consequently, the spatial distribution and total volume of storage are important factors controlling the initiation location, predominant flow type, and termination location of surges.

16 show abstract
0169-555X * * 30200378
Publication date: Available online 25 April 2019

Source: Geomorphology
Author(s): Aline Garnier, Laurent Lespez

In West Africa, most palaeoenvironmental studies have focused on the role of climatic change on the environment. Because of the richness of its deposits, the Yamé River (Mali), a tributary of the Niger River, offers an opportunity to reconstruct the evolution of this fluvial system in comparison with both climatic and anthropogenic changes during the Late Holocene. To investigate more closely the spatio-temporal response of the fluvial system, sedimentary analyses were conducted on seven reaches distributed along the 137 km length of the Yamé valley. This approach testifies of the possibility for each time slice and river reach (1) to reconstruct the fluvial style and processes and (2) to estimate the sediment storage volume reflecting sediment distribution patterns. Results reveal a wide variability of the sedimentary cascade suggesting contrasting responses to external and local controls. Humid (4200–2900 cal. BP; 450–24 cal. BP) or arid (2350–1700 cal. BP) phases have been recorded in fluvial archives while an intensification in erosion and sediment supplies, even during the arid period (2900–2350 cal. BP and the 20th century), may be associated with an increase in human pressure. Two other periods are related to both climate and anthropogenic factors. During 1700–1400 cal. BP phase huge sediment supplies can be explained mainly by the reactivation of both hydrological processes and human occupation after an intense and long arid event. Dispersed sediment sinks recorded during the 450–24 cal. BP period originate from the combination of intensification of colluvial processes and a wet phase context originating from global climatic change. Thus, this study provides evidence that climate is the strongest driver for the fluvial response of these semi-arid and tropical rivers while human disturbance appear as a secondary factor due to the high sensitivity of the environment to climate variability in such areas.

17 show abstract
0169-555X * * 30225723
Publication date: Available online 30 April 2019

Source: Geomorphology
Author(s): Xuxu Wu, Daniel R. Parsons

Fieldwork was conducted at the Red Cliff sandbar located in the upper Humber Estuary in order to investigate bedform dynamics under different hydrodynamic conditions related to combinations in tidal and wave-generated currents. A fixed mooring was deployed to obtain current flow and wave properties across the sand bar site at both spring and neap tidal flows and during conditions of high wind generated waves. A terrestrial laser scanner was used to scan the sandbar during low water across the various forcing conditions, acquiring detailed information of ripple geometries. Under spring tide and calm wave conditions, two-dimensional asymmetrical ripples with straight crest lines were generated on the sandbar. Surveys were also conducted during strong winds. Prior to high-wind-waves, two-dimensional symmetrical and washed-out ripples were observed, during spring and neap tidal conditions respectively. The lengths of these ripples were almost the same as those generated under current only conditions, but their heights were relatively smaller. After the strong wind periods, 2D current-induced ripples were replaced by flatbed conditions and 2D symmetrical wash-out ripples, which indicates wave-induced bed shear stress is enhanced by the presence of a tidal current. Most pertinently our study reveals discrepancies between field observations and existing predictions of bed configurations that are largely based on laboratory investigations. This is likely due to a larger grain size distribution in field conditions and due to turbulence dampening by high concentrations of suspended clay particles. The study thus highlights a need to extend a range of field investigations that explore the current deficiencies in our abilities to predict bedforms and bedform dynamics in estuarine systems.
18 show abstract
0169-555X * * 30225724
Publication date: Available online 29 April 2019

Source: Geomorphology
Author(s): Fangen Hu, Xiaoping Yang, Hongwei Li

Clay dunes are characterized by a relatively high content of silt and clay and are typically developed on the lee side margin of closed-basins in arid and semi-arid areas. Although they are widely distributed aeolian landforms on Earth, little is known about their development and distribution in Asia. Our field investigations have identified for the first time the occurrence of clay dunes in the Alashan Plateau, north China. The clay dunes occur in three isolated lowland areas of the Suhongtu (SHT) Basin and their morphologies (barchans, hooked barchans, asymmetrical barchans, and linear or seif dunes) differ substantially from those of the well-studied clay dunes in Australia, Africa and North America. These differences could be mainly attributed to the asymmetrical bimodal wind regime, prolonged drought and sediment physical properties, which indicate that dunes of any type can be formed in sand, silt or clay. Based on the known evolution of the SHT paleo-lake basin and regional climate change, we infer that the landscape of modern clay dunes in the desert of the Alashan Plateau does not predate MIS 5, and probably formed during the late Holocene. Analyses of grain-size distributions and the contents of trace and rare earth elements, combined with geomorphological characteristics, indicate that the source sediments of the clay dunes are mainly local Cretaceous-Tertiary and Quaternary red fluvial-lacustrine mudstone and sediments, while the ultimate source is the weathered and denuded products of granitoids of the East Altay Mountains. Comparison of the morphology and alignment of the clay dunes with the prevailing wind pattern tends to support Tsoar's (1984) model of the transition in dune shape from barchans to seif or linear dunes. During 2003–2013, the seif or linear dunes of the SHT Basin migrated laterally and elongated northeastward at rates of about 2–4 m/yr and 16–20 m/yr, respectively.

19 show abstract
0169-555X * * 30225725
Publication date: Available online 29 April 2019

Source: Geomorphology
Author(s): Tao Wu, Jiaye Li, Tiejian Li, Bellie Sivakumar, Ga Zhang, Guangqian Wang

Drainage network extraction plays an important role in geomorphologic analyses, hydrologic modeling, and non-point source pollutant simulation, among others. Flow enforcement, by imposing information of known river maps to digital elevation models (DEMs), leads to improved drainage network extraction. However, the existing flow enforcement methods (e.g., the elevation-based stream-burning method) have certain limitations, as they may cause unreal longitudinal profiles, lead to unintended topological errors, and even misinterpret the overall drainage patterns. The present study proposes an enhanced flow enforcement method without elevation modification towards an accurate and efficient drainage network extraction. In addition to preserving the Boolean-value information as to whether a DEM pixel belongs to a stream, the proposed method can also well preserve and fully utilize the topological relations among mapped streamlines and morphological information of each mapped streamline. The method involves two important steps: (1) proposal of an improved rasterization algorithm of mapped streamlines to yield continuous, unambiguous, and collision-free raster equivalent of stream vectors for flow enforcement; and (2) realization of the enhanced flow enforcement in a modified Priority-Flood procedure –– in this way, flows are enforced to completely follow the mapped streamlines, and hence, channel short-circuits and spurious confluences of adjacent streams are avoided. An efficient implementation of the method is made based on a size-balanced binary search tree. The method is also tested over the Rogue River Basin in the United States, using DEMs with various resolutions. Visual and statistical analyses of the results indicate three major advantages of the proposed method: (1) significant reduction in the misinterpretation of drainage patterns; (2) maximum channel displacement of one pixel to the river map at various resolutions; and (3) high computational efficiency.

20 show abstract
0169-555X * * 30225726
Publication date: Available online 29 April 2019

Source: Geomorphology
Author(s): Mauro Coltorti, Sofia Tognaccini

The town of Montespertoli (Florence Province) is located on a NW–SE ridge that separates the Valdelsa River Basin to the west from the Val di Pesa Basin to the east. The bedrock is characterised by alternations of alluvial, transitional, and marine deposits with a maximum gradient of 5°. The slopes surrounding the town are affected by a series of rock slides, flows, and complex landslides, usually roto-translational slides that evolve into rock flows. The headward evolution of the landslide escarpments threatens the stability of several buildings and streets. The conditions leading to the activation of these gravitational movements are mainly based on the lithological setting and downcutting of river valleys. In addition, recent inappropriate water management plays an important role locally. The aim of this study is to illustrate the importance of gravitational phenomena in the modelling of areas with this type of structural setting, which is very common in many Italian regions, and to identify the geometry and state of activity of gravitational movements. To verify the activity of the movements in recent decades, multitemporal analysis was carried out using orthophotos of four different periods: 1954, 1988, 1996, and 2013. Based on the results, a classification of the degree of activity of the landslides was introduced, which can be applied at the regional scale by the regional authority. Several researchers proposed to utilise Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) technology. The use of aerial photos is of advantage because these photos are easily available at a very low price, as needed by professional geologists.

21 show abstract
0169-555X * * 30257439
Publication date: Available online 3 May 2019

Source: Geomorphology
Author(s): Annette Irene Patton, Sara L. Rathburn, Denny M. Capps

Rapid permafrost thaw in the high-latitude and high-elevation areas increases hillslope susceptibility to landsliding by altering geotechnical properties of hillslope materials, including reduced cohesion and increased hydraulic connectivity. This review synthesizes the fundamental processes that will increase landslide frequency and magnitude in permafrost regions in the coming decades with observational and analytical studies that document landslide regimes in high latitudes and elevations. We synthesize the available literature to address five questions of practical importance, which can be used to evaluate fundamental knowledge of landslide process and inform land management decisions to mitigate geohazards and environmental impacts. After permafrost thaws, we predict that landslides will be driven primarily by atmospheric input of moisture and freeze-thaw fracturing rather than responding to disconnected and perched groundwater, melting permafrost ice, and a plane of weakness between ground ice and the active layer. Transition between equilibrium states is likely to increase landslide frequency and magnitude, alter dominant failure styles, and mobilize carbon over timescales ranging from seasons to centuries. We also evaluate potential implications of increased landslide activity on local nutrient and sediment connectivity, atmospheric carbon feedbacks, and hazards to people and infrastructure. Last, we suggest three key areas for future research to produce primary data and analysis that will fill gaps in the existing understanding of landslide regimes in permafrost regions. These suggestions include 1) expand the geographic extent of English-language research on landslides in permafrost; 2) maintain or initiate long-term monitoring projects and aerial data collection; and 3) quantify the net effect on the terrestrial carbon budget.

22 show abstract
0169-555X * * 30257440
Publication date: Available online 2 May 2019

Source: Geomorphology
Author(s): Thomas Croissant, Philippe Steer, Dimitri Lague, Philippe Davy, Louise Jeandet, Robert G. Hilton

In tectonically active mountain ranges, landslides triggered by earthquakes mobilise large volumes of sediment that affect river dynamics. This sediment delivery can cause downstream changes in river geometry and transport capacity that affect the river efficiency to export this sediment out of the epicentre area. The subsequent propagation of landslide deposits in the fluvial network has implications for the management of hazards downstream and for the long-term evolution of topography over multiple seismic cycles. A full understanding of the processes and time scales associated with the removal of landslide sediment by rivers following earthquakes however, is still lacking. Here, we propose a nested numerical approach to investigate the processes controlling the post-seismic sediment evacuation at the mountain range scale, informed by results from a reach scale model. First, we explore the river morphodynamic response to a landslide cascade at the reach-scale using a 2D modelling approach. The results are then used to describe empirically the evacuation of a landslide volume which avoids using a computationally extensive model in catchments which may have thousands of co-seismic landslides. Second, we propose a reduced-complexity model to quantify evacuation times of earthquake-triggered landslide clusters at the scale of a mountain range, examining the hypothetical case of a M

7.9 earthquake and its aftershocks occurring on the Alpine Fault, New Zealand. Our approach combines an empirical description of co-seismic landslide clusters with the sediment export processes involved during the post-seismic phase. Our results show that the inter-seismic capacity of the mountain range to evacuate co-seismic sediment is critical to assess the sediment budget of large earthquakes, over one to several seismic cycles. We show that sediment evacuation is controlled by two timescales, 1. the transfer time of material from hillslopes to channels and 2. the evacuation time of the landslide deposits once it has reached the fluvial network. In turn, post-seismic sediment evacuation can either be connectivity-limited, when sediment delivery along hillslopes is the main limiting process, or transport-limited, when the transport by rivers is the limiting process. Despite high values of runoff, we suggest that the Southern Alps of New Zealand are likely to be in connectivity-limited conditions, for connection velocities <10 m.yr−1. Connection velocities>2 m.yr−1 are sufficient to allow most of co-seismic sediments to be mobilised and potentially exported out of the range within less than one seismic cycle. Because of the poorly-constrained rate of sediment transfer along hillslopes, our results potentially raise the issue of co-seismic sediment accumulation within mountain ranges over several seismic cycles and of the imbalance between tectonic inputs and sediment export. We, therefore, call for renewed observational efforts to better describe and quantify the physical processes responsible for the redistribution and mobilization of sediment from landslide scars and deposits.

23 show abstract
0169-555X * * 30282312
Publication date: Available online 7 May 2019

Source: Geomorphology
Author(s): Chaofan Zhou, Huili Gong, Beibei Chen, Xiaojuan Li, Jiwei Li, Xu Wang, Mingliang Gao, Yuan Si, Lin Guo, Min Shi, Guangyao Duan
24 show abstract
0169-555X * * 30352683
Publication date: Available online 10 May 2019

Source: Geomorphology
Author(s): Pratima Pandey

Little information about the number, spatial distribution, and characteristics of rock glaciers in Himachal Himalaya is available. This information is crucial to assess the hydrological contribution of permafrost regimes and to understand its response to changing climate. Employing high-resolution satellite data freely accessible through Google Earth, the first comprehensive rock glacier inventory of Himachal Himalaya is presented in this work. The inventory reports 516 rock glaciers in the study area corresponding to an estimated area of 353 km2 of which 59% have glacier origin and 41% have talus origin. The frontal elevation of the lowest rock glacier in the Himachal Himalaya is 3052 m above sea level which was significantly low, whereas the highest rock glacier occurs at 5503 m above sea level. The mean minimum elevation of rock glaciers was 4484 m above sea level and the maximum was 4900 m above sea level. The majority of the rock glaciers have a northerly aspect (N, NE, NW) followed by westerly aspect signifying that slopes with lower potential incoming solar radiation favour the formation of rock glaciers. The mean annual surface temperature of the rock glaciers derived from Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) Land surface temperature (LST) product (MOD11B3) was −1.5 °C, with glacier-derived rock glaciers having colder surfaces than talus-derived rock glaciers. The topographical and climatological parameters greatly influenced the formation and development of rock glaciers.

Graphical abstract

25 show abstract
0169-555X * * 30352684
Publication date: Available online 10 May 2019

Source: Geomorphology
Author(s): Alberto Bosino, Adel Omran, Michael Maerker

Badlands are characteristic erosional forms distributed along the entire Apennines. In the Italian context badland areas are called “calanchi”, the plural of the word “calanco”. In this paper we present the first calanchi inventory map of the Oltrepo Pavese area, Northern Apennines (Italy). In total 263 calanchi were mapped using remote sensing techniques like Orthophotos, Google Earth images, as well as field recognition. Moreover, calanchi were characterised from a geomorphologic, geologic and a morphometric point of view. The calanchi of the Oltrepo Pavese have been categorised in two geomorphological classes based on process related morphologies. In the study area calanchi mainly occur in soft sedimentary bedrock materials such as melanges, marls, claystones, and interstratified rocks. The results show that calanchi formations are often related to faults and tectonic lineaments present in the study area. Moreover, we analyse a 5 m cell size Digital Terrain Model to detect correlations between calanchi and morphometric indices. The calanchi, defined and categorised for the first time in the study area, show typical morphometric characteristics of Apennine calanchi forms and features. In particular, they occur on concave south-facing slopes on soft bedrock formations. Finally, a multitemporal air photo interpretation over a 40 years period indicated a general decrease in calanchi areas. The area reduction is mainly correlated to intensive land use changes combined with variations of precipitation pattern. The revegetation trend was also confirmed by NDVI analysis based on Landsat satellites images. The calanchi were digitized and stored in a GIS database providing the information for future quantitative modelling assessments.

26 show abstract
0169-555X * * 30352685
Publication date: Available online 9 May 2019

Source: Geomorphology
Author(s): Norman Meek

Neither the concepts of antecedence nor superposition from an overlying sedimentary surface can explain many drainage networks that traverse ranges in the Basin and Range geomorphic province of the western U.S. Rather, much of the regional drainage network growth has resulted from pluvial lake overflows and basin breaching, causing episodic extensions of the trunk streams in a downstream direction.
In this model, the primary role of sediment is to reduce basin volumes, thus increasing the chances of basin breaching by overflow. After basin breaching, a significant base-level drop often results, which leads to the erosion and recycling of sediments, and drainage network permanency. Therefore, remnants of basin fills reaching rim elevations, and other evidence of superposition are unlikely.
Drainage network evolution appears to be closely tied to the large Plio-Pleistocene climatic shifts, suggesting that regional drainage integration in the Basin and Range is most likely a Pliocene or Quaternary phenomenon.

27 show abstract
0169-555X * * 30416034
Publication date: Available online 17 May 2019

Source: Geomorphology
Author(s): Jasper Knight

Rock glaciers have traditionally been described as periglacial landforms and thus associated genetically with the presence of permafrost and a seasonal active layer. They have also been described as glacigenic in origin, in which the main rock glacier body contains glacier ice at depth. Other rock glaciers can be considered as relict where they contain no interstitial ice and are functionally inactive. Although all rock glaciers are to some extent polygenic, there is no clear, simple test that can be used to distinguish between different rock glacier types. This study proposes a simple and testable model for rock glacier classification based on their behaviour from evidence reported from the literature. The study then proposes an interpretive evolutionary model describing the temporal evolution of rock glacier surface movement through the year that can inform on its dynamical controls. This analysis provides an easily-deployed interpretive framework for the origins of rock glaciers.

28 show abstract
0169-555X * * 30416035
Publication date: Available online 17 May 2019

Source: Geomorphology
Author(s): Kai Fei, Longzhou Deng, Tianyu Sun, Liping Zhang, Yanhong Wu, Xiaojuan Fan, Yayue Dong

Soil erosion by water destroys the physical protection of carbon in soil aggregates and accelerates decomposition, thus impacting soil organic carbon stocks and making the soil barren. Runoff process and lateral transport of soil total carbon were studied using sloping flumes in an artificial rainfall simulator. The flumes were filled with soil collected from the surface horizon, the underlying laterite horizon, and the deeper sand horizon, three portions of a weathered granite soil profile. The results showed that the initial runoff-yielding time was faster under large rainfall intensities and steep slope gradients. The runoff process on sand soil slopes showed a trend of increasing with the increase of rainfall duration, while the trend on surface soil slopes and laterite soil slopes were mainly increasing rapidly and then stable. The volume of overland flow on surface soil slopes was the largest under the same conditions, with an average value of 14,259 mL, while it was the smallest on sand soil slopes. There was no interflow on surface soil slopes, and the interflow curves of the sandy soil slopes and the laterite soil slopes were all single-peak curves. The TC concentration curves of overland flow on sand soil slopes presented a high initial concentration and were then decreasing to a stable state, but the trends on laterite soil slopes and surface soil slopes was not obvious. The TC concentration curves of interflow on sand soil slopes and laterite soil slopes were similar to those of the runoff process curves, and the TC concentration on laterite soil slopes peaked faster. The TC loss gross amount on sand soil slopes and laterite soil slopes was much larger than that on surface soil slopes. Sediment was the main carrier of TC on sandy soil slopes, which TC loss with sediment was more than 50% in each rainfall test. Runoff was the main carrier of TC on laterite soil slopes and surface soil slopes; TC loss with runoff was above 60% on surface soil slopes. At the same time, partial correlation coefficients showed that rainfall intensity was the most important factor affecting TC loss. The results can provide a calculation method and scientific basis for the estimation of the TC loss on weathered granite soil slopes in the south of China.

29 show abstract
0169-555X * * 30416036
Publication date: Available online 16 May 2019

Source: Geomorphology
Author(s): Xuxu Wu, Daniel R. Parsons

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Impact factor: 3.308
Q1 (Geosciences, Multidisciplinary (35/189))
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