A measure of integrated transport capacity (T*) for streamflow events corresponding to different hydraulic regimes (flood shapes as inset plots) are plotted versus a measure of cumulative sediment flux (Q*). The black line is a linear trend line fit. For a given T*, the sediment flux data are collapsed to nearly a point. All floods but one are within a factor of 1.5 of the mean trend, implying that there is no systematic variation in the data with respect to flood magnitude, duration, or shape. Credit: Phillips et al., 2018, Figure 3b
Source: Geophysical Research Letters

One of the main challenges in geomorphology and landscape evolution is the space-time variability of driving factors that lead to a distribution of geomorphic responses. By using an elegant experimental design, Phillips et al. [2018] show that the total bed-load sediment transport does not depend on the details of the transient hydraulic forcing. What matters is a measure of integrated transport capacity: flow impulse. This finding has broad implications for landscape evolution modeling and assessment of future geomorphic conditions under uncertain hydrometeorologic regimes.

Citation: Phillips, C. B., Hill, K. M., Paola, C., Singer, M. B., & Jerolmack, D. J. [2018]. Effect of flood hydrograph duration, magnitude, and shape on bed‐load transport dynamics. Geophysical Research Letters, 45. https://doi.org/10.1029/2018GL078976

—Valeriy Ivanov, Editor, Geophysical Research Letters

Text © 2018. The authors. CC BY-NC-ND 3.0
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