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Earth Surface Dynamics An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Volume 7, issue 1
Earth Surf. Dynam., 7, 17-43, 2019
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
Earth Surf. Dynam., 7, 17-43, 2019
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Research article 10 Jan 2019

Research article | 10 Jan 2019

Long-profile evolution of transport-limited gravel-bed rivers

Andrew D. Wickert and Taylor F. Schildgen
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Related subject area  
Physical: Geomorphology (including all aspects of fluvial, coastal, aeolian, hillslope and glacial geomorphology)
Modelling braided river morphodynamics using a particle travel length framework
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Short communication: Challenges and applications of structure-from-motion photogrammetry in a physical model of a braided river
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Cited articles  
Acosta, V. T., Schildgen, T. F., Clarke, B. A., Scherler, D., Bookhagen, B., Wittmann, H., von Blanckenburg, F., and Strecker, M. R.: Effect of vegetation cover on millennial-scale landscape denudation rates in East Africa, Lithosphere, 7, 408–420,, 2015.
Aguirre-Pe, J. and Fuentes, R.: Resistance to Flow in Steep Rough Streams, J. Hydraul. Eng., 116, 1374–1387,, 1990.
Aron, G. and Miller, A.: Adaptation of Flood Peaks and Design Hydrographs from Gaged to Nearby Ungaged Watersheds, J. Am. Water Resour. As., 14, 313–321,, 1978.
Ashmore, P.: Channel Morphology and Bed Load Pulses in Braided, Gravel-Bed Streams, Geogr. Ann. A, 73, 37–52,, 1991.
Attal, M. and Lavé, J.: Pebble abrasion during fluvial transport: Experimental results and implications for the evolution of the sediment load along rivers, J. Geophys. Res.-Earth, 114, 1–22,, 2009.
Publications Copernicus
Short summary
Rivers can raise or lower their beds by depositing or eroding sediments. We combine equations for flow, channel/valley geometry, and gravel transport to learn how climate and tectonics shape down-valley profiles of river-bed elevation. Rivers steepen when they receive more sediment (relative to water) and become straighter with tectonic uplift. Weathering and breakdown of gravel is needed to produce gradually widening river channels with concave-up profiles that are often observed in the field.
Rivers can raise or lower their beds by depositing or eroding sediments. We combine equations...