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Abstract

Paleohydraulic data from outwash terrace sequences in New Zealand and Iceland suggest that they were formed by glacially controlled, high magnitude, incising flood events. Relic incision channels cut into the terrace surfaces provide evidence of steeper gradients, coarser sediment and thus greater bed-shear stresses, velocities, Froude numbers, and discharges than those of the braided channel systems on the terrace surfaces.

The paper proposes that channel incision and terrace formation can be generated by catastrophic floods which exceed the thresholds for channel entrenchment. These thresholds are defined by the flow conditions predicted by paleohydraulic modeling of the relic channels.

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