When does faulting-induced subsidence drive distributary network reorganization?

This is a Preprint and has not been peer reviewed. The published version of this Preprint is available: http://doi.org/10.1029/2021GL095053. This is version 2 of this Preprint.


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Andrew J. Moodie, Paola Passalacqua 


Deltas exhibit spatially and temporally variable subsidence, including vertical displacement due to movement along fault planes. Faulting-induced subsidence perturbs delta-surface gradients, potentially causing distributary networks to shift sediment dispersal within the landscape. Sediment dispersal restricted to part of the landscape could hinder billion-dollar investments aiming to restore delta land, making faulting-induced subsidence a significant, yet unconstrained hazard to these projects. In this study, we modeled a range of displacement events in disparate deltaic environments, and observe that a channelized connection with the displaced area determines whether a distributary network reorganizes. When this connection exists, the magnitude of distributary network reorganization is predicted by a ratio relating dimensions of faulting-induced subsidence and channel geometry. We use this ratio to extend results to real-world deltas and assess hazards to deltaic-land building projects.




Earth Sciences, Geomorphology


subsidence, land building, sediment diversions, distributary networks


Published: 2021-07-18 23:01

Last Updated: 2021-10-01 21:31

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CC BY Attribution 4.0 International

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