Hydrology, Cryosphere & Earth Surface Editors' Highlights

Insensitivity of Total Sediment Flux to Hydraulic Details

The total sediment mass transported by flow under different sets of regimes is insensitive to the exact details of hydraulic forcing, but what matters is cumulative transport capacity.

Source: Geophysical Research Letters


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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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