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Long-term landscape trajectory - Can we make predictions about landscape form and function for post-mining landforms?

Hancock, G.R.; Lowry, J.B.C.; Coulthard, T.J.


A significant issue for the application of numerical Landscape Evolution Models (LEMs) is their calibration/parameterisation and validation. LEMs are now at the stage of development where if calibrated, they can provide meaningful and useful results. However, before use, each LEM requires a set of data and parameter values for it to run reliably and most importantly produce results with some measure of precision and accuracy. This calibration/validation process is largely carried out using parameter values determined from present day, or recent surface conditions which are themselves product of much longer-term geology-soil-climate-vegetation interactions. Here we examine the reliability of an LEM to predict catchment form over geological time (500,000 years) for a potential rehabilitated mine landform using defensible parameters derived from field plots. The findings demonstrate that there is no equifinality in landscape form with different parameter sets producing geomorphically and hydrologically unique landscapes throughout their entire evolution. This shows that parameterisation does matter over geological time scales. However, for shorter time scales (< 10,000 years) the geomorphic differences in hillslope form are minimal as described by the hypsometric curve, area–slope and cumulative area distribution, yet there are large differences in sediment output. Therefore, obtaining reliable and defensible parameters for input to LEMs is essential.

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date Aug 1, 2016
Journal Geomorphology
Print ISSN 0169-555X
Electronic ISSN 1872-695X
Publisher Elsevier
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 266
Pages 121-132
Keywords Landscape evolution; Mine rehabilitation; Soil erosion modelling; SIBERIA
Publisher URL
Additional Information This article is maintained by: Elsevier; Article Title: Long-term landscape trajectory — Can we make predictions about landscape form and function for post-mining landforms?; Journal Title: Geomorphology; CrossRef DOI link to publisher maintained version:; Content Type: article; Copyright: Crown Copyright © 2016 Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.


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