This is a commentary on DOI:10.1029/2000JB000044
Geodesy and Gravity/Tectonophysics
Topographic outcomes predicted by stream erosion models: Sensitivity analysis and intermodel comparison
Article first published online: 10 SEP 2002
Copyright 2002 by the American Geophysical Union.
Journal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth (1978–2012)
Volume 107, Issue B9, pages ETG 1-1–ETG 1-16, September 2002
How to Cite
Topographic outcomes predicted by stream erosion models: Sensitivity analysis and intermodel comparison, J. Geophys. Res., 107(B9), 2179, doi:10.1029/2001JB000162, 2002., and ,
- Issue published online: 10 SEP 2002
- Article first published online: 10 SEP 2002
- Manuscript Accepted: 27 SEP 2001
- Manuscript Revised: 22 SEP 2001
- Manuscript Received: 15 JAN 2001
- Landscape evolution;
 Mechanistic theories of fluvial erosion are essential for quantifying large-scale orogenic denudation. We examine the topographic implications of two leading classes of river erosion model, detachment-limited and transport-limited, in order to identify diagnostic and testable differences between them. Several formulations predict distinctly different longitudinal profile shapes, which are shown to be closely linked to terrain morphology. Of these, some can be rejected on the basis of unrealistic morphology and slope-area scaling. An expression is derived for total drainage basin relief and its apportionment between hillslope and fluvial components. Relief and valley density are found to vary with tectonic forcing in a manner that reflects erosion physics; these properties therefore constitute an additional set of testable predictions. Finally, transient responses to tectonic perturbations are shown to depend strongly on the degree of nonlinearity in the incision process. These findings indicate that given proper constraints, fluvial erosion theories can be tested on the basis of observed topography.