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Bishop, P.; Hoey, T.B.; Jansen, J.D.; Artza, I.L. (2005)
Publisher: John Wiley and Sons
Languages: English
Types: Article
Subjects: GB
Knickpoint behaviour is a key to understanding both the landscape responses to a base-level fall and the corresponding sediment fluxes from rejuvenated catchments, and must be accommodated in numerical models of large-scale landscape evolution. Knickpoint recession in streams draining to glacio-isostatically uplifted shorelines in eastern Scotland is used to assess whether knickpoint recession is a function of discharge (here represented by its surrogate, catchment area). Knickpoints are identified using DS plots (log slope versus log downstream distance). A statistically significant power relationship is found between distance of headward recession and catchment area. Such knickpoint recession data may be used to determine the values of m and n in the stream power law, E = KAmSn. The data have too many uncertainties, however, to judge definitively whether they are consistent with m = n = 1 (bedrock erosion is proportional to stream power and KPs should be maintained and propagate headwards) or m = 0·3, n = 0·7 (bedrock incision is proportional to shear stress and KPs do not propagate but degrade in place by rotation or replacement). Nonetheless, the E Scotland m and n values point to the dominance of catchment area (discharge) in determining knickpoint retreat rates and are therefore more consistent with the stream power law formulation in which bedrock erosion is proportional to stream power.
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