Lithologic controls on the form of soil mantled hillslopes

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Sam Johnstone, George E. Hilley


Slopes in steady-state soil-mantled landscapes tend to increase downslope in a way that balances local transport capacity with the sediment supplied from progressively larger source areas. Most formulations of sediment transport due to hillslope processes scale transport rate with local slope, which produces convex-up forms that are independent of the properties of the underlying lithologies. In this study, we document soil-mantled hillslopes that show variations in slope that mimic the underlying stratigraphy. We present stratigraphic and soil-thickness measurements, topographic analyses, and numerical models to demonstrate that variations in rock type can impact the forms of these soil mantled hillslopes if hillslope transport rates scale with local slope and soil thickness. This demonstrates that hillslope forms in soil-mantled landscapes can be influenced by the underlying lithology through a coupling between the processes that produce soil from rock and those that transport this soil downslope.



Earth Sciences, Geology, Geomorphology, Physical Sciences and Mathematics


weathering, geomorphology, hillslope, landscape evolution, soil, hillslope wiggles, soil transport


Published: 2018-07-21 05:12


GNU Lesser General Public License (LGPL) 2.1

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