Hillslope Evolution by Bedrock Landslides

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Science  17 Jan 1997:
Vol. 275, Issue 5298, pp. 369-372
DOI: 10.1126/science.275.5298.369

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Bedrock landsliding is a dominant geomorphic process in a number of high-relief landscapes, yet is neglected in landscape evolution models. A physical model of sliding in beans is presented, in which incremental lowering of one wall simulates baselevel fall and generates slides. Frequent small slides produce irregular hillslopes, on which steep toes and head scarps persist until being cleared by infrequent large slides. These steep segments are observed on hillslopes in high-relief landscapes and have been interpreted as evidence for increases in tectonic or climatic process rates. In certain cases, they may instead reflect normal hillslope evolution by landsliding.

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