Gully catchments as a sediment sink, not just a source: Results from a long-term (~12 500 year) sediment budget

Larsen, Annegret, Heckmann, Tobias, Larsen, Joshua R. and Bork, Hans-Rudolf (2015) Gully catchments as a sediment sink, not just a source: Results from a long-term (~12 500 year) sediment budget. Earth Surface Processes and Landforms, 41 4: 486-498. doi:10.1002/esp.3839


Author Larsen, Annegret
Heckmann, Tobias
Larsen, Joshua R.
Bork, Hans-Rudolf
Title Gully catchments as a sediment sink, not just a source: Results from a long-term (~12 500 year) sediment budget
Journal name Earth Surface Processes and Landforms   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1096-9837
0197-9337
Publication date 2015-01-01
Year available 2015
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1002/esp.3839
Open Access Status Not yet assessed
Volume 41
Issue 4
Start page 486
End page 498
Total pages 13
Place of publication West Sussex, United Kingdom
Publisher John Wiley and Sons
Language eng
Subject 3305 Geography, Planning and Development
1904 Earth-Surface Processes
1901 Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)
Abstract Sediment delivery from hillslopes to trunk streams represents a significant pathway of mass transfer in the landscape, with a large fraction facilitated by gully systems. The internal gully geomorphic dynamics represent a considerable gap in many landscape and empirical erosion models, therefore a better understanding of these processes over longer timescales (10-10 years) is needed. This study analyses the sediment mass balance and storage dynamics within a headwater gully catchment in central Europe over the last ~12 500 years. Human induced erosion resulted in hillslope erosion rates ~2.3 times higher than under naturally de-vegetated conditions (during the Younger Dryas), however the total sediment inputs to the gully system (and therefore gully aggradation), were similar. Net gully storage has consistently increased to become the second largest term in the sediment budget after hillslope erosion (storage is ~45% and ~73% of inputs during two separate erosion and aggradation cycles). In terms of the depletion of gully sediment storage, the sediment mass balance shows that export beyond the gully fan was not significant until the last ~500 years, due to reduced gully fan accommodation space. The significance of storage effects on the gully sediment mass balance, particularly the export terms, means that it would be difficult to determine the influences of human impact and/or climatic changes from floodplain or lake sedimentary archives alone and that the sediment budgets of the headwater catchments from which they drain are more likely to provide these mechanistic links.
Formatted abstract
Sediment delivery from hillslopes to trunk streams represents a significant pathway of mass transfer in the landscape, with a large fraction facilitated by gully systems. Copyright © 2015 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

The internal gully geomorphic dynamics represent a considerable gap in many landscape and empirical erosion models, therefore a better understanding of these processes over longer timescales (10–104 years) is needed. This study analyses the sediment mass balance and storage dynamics within a headwater gully catchment in central Europe over the last ~12 500 years. Human induced erosion resulted in hillslope erosion rates ~2.3 times higher than under naturally de-vegetated conditions (during the Younger Dryas), however the total sediment inputs to the gully system (and therefore gully aggradation), were similar. Net gully storage has consistently increased to become the second largest term in the sediment budget after hillslope erosion (storage is ~45% and ~73% of inputs during two separate erosion and aggradation cycles). In terms of the depletion of gully sediment storage, the sediment mass balance shows that export beyond the gully fan was not significant until the last ~500 years, due to reduced gully fan accommodation space. The significance of storage effects on the gully sediment mass balance, particularly the export terms, means that it would be difficult to determine the influences of human impact and/or climatic changes from floodplain or lake sedimentary archives alone and that the sediment budgets of the headwater catchments from which they drain are more likely to provide these mechanistic links.
Keyword Holocene
Sediment budget
Sediment delivery
Gully
Land-use
Human impact
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: School of Geography, Planning and Environmental Management Publications
Official 2016 Collection
 
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