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A vector-based method for bank-material tracking in coupled models of meandering and landscape evolution

Limaye, Ajay B. S. and Lamb, Michael P. (2013) A vector-based method for bank-material tracking in coupled models of meandering and landscape evolution. Journal of Geophysical Research. Earth Surface, 118 (4). pp. 2421-2437. ISSN 2169-9003.

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Sinuous channels commonly migrate laterally and interact with banks of different strengths—an interplay that links geomorphology and life and shapes diverse landscapes from the seafloor to planetary surfaces. To investigate feedbacks between meandering rivers and landscapes over geomorphic timescales, numerical models typically represent bank properties using grids; however, this approach produces results inherently dependent on grid resolution. Herein we assess existing techniques for tracking landscape and bank-strength evolution in numerical models of meandering channels and show that grid-based models implicitly include unintended thresholds for bank migration that can control simulated landscape evolution. Building on stratigraphic modeling techniques, we develop a vector-based method for land surface- and subsurface-material tracking that overcomes the resolution-dependence inherent in grid-based techniques by allowing high-fidelity representation of bank-material properties for curvilinear banks and low channel lateral migration rates. We illustrate four specific applications of the new technique: (1) the effect of resistant mud-rich deposits in abandoned meander cutoff loops on meander belt evolution; (2) the stratigraphic architecture of aggrading, alluvial meandering channels that interact with cohesive-bank and floodplain material; (3) the evolution of an incising, meandering river with mixed bedrock and alluvial banks within a confined bedrock valley; and (4) the effect of a bank-height dependent lateral-erosion rate for a meandering river in an aggrading floodplain. In all cases the vector-based approach overcomes numerical artifacts with the grid-based model. Because of its geometric flexibility, the vector-based material tracking approach provides new opportunities for exploring the coevolution of meandering rivers and surrounding landscapes over geologic timescales.

Item Type:Article
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URLURL TypeDescription DOIArticle
Lamb, Michael P.0000-0002-5701-0504
Additional Information:© 2013 American Geophysical Union. Received 13 May 2013; revised 30 October 2013; accepted 31 October 2013; published 9 December 2013. This work was supported by the Department of Defense through the National Defense Science and Engineering Graduate Fellowship (NDSEG) Program and NSF grant EAR-1147381 to MPL. We thank Noah Finnegan, Antoine Lucas, Edwin Kite, and Vamsi Ganti for helpful discussions and Nicole Gasparini and three anonymous reviewers for their valuable comments.
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National Defense Science and Engineering Graduate (NDSEG) FellowshipUNSPECIFIED
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20140213-134720549
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Official Citation:Limaye, A. B. S., and M. P. Lamb (2013), A vector-based method for bank-material tracking in coupled models of meandering and landscape evolution, J. Geophys. Res. Earth Surf., 118, 2421–2437, doi:10.1002/2013JF002854
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:43818
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:25 Feb 2014 17:39
Last Modified:23 Nov 2016 00:52

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