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Book Chapter

Precipitation Models for Sediment Supply in Warm Climates

By
C. Blaine Cecil
C. Blaine Cecil
U.S. Geological Survey, Reston, Virginia 20192, U.S.A.
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Frank T. Dulong
Frank T. Dulong
U.S. Geological Survey, Reston, Virginia 20192, U.S.A.
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Published:
January 01, 2003

Abstract

Sediment discharge in fluvial systems is primarily a function of climate. In tropical and subtropical climates, discharge of solid sediment is nearly zero under perhumid climatic conditions whereas maximum discharge occurs under dry subhumid condition when there is a pronounced dry season and seasonality in rainfall is at a maximum. Discharge of solid sediment also approaches zero under arid conditions when there is little if any rainfall throughout the year. Solute discharge is also largely a function of climate. Solute discharge appears to be greatest under semiarid to subhumid climatic conditions and is nearly zero under hyperarid and perhumid conditions. The effects of tectonics and eustasy on sediment discharge are negligible, particularly at intermediate and short-term time scales.

The potential for the production and accumulation of terrestrial organic matter as peat in a given basin is also a function of climate. The effects of tectonics and eustasy as controls on peat formation are minimal, but they are very important in burial and preservation of peat as coal. In addition, it is well known that the potential for eolian transport is also a function of climate, with maximum transport occurring under arid conditions. With increasing wetness, including seasonal rainfall, dune fields begin to stabilize and eolian transport diminishes and finally becomes zero.

Climate is also one of the primary controls on weathering, pedogenesis, and soil formation. However, there is not always a strong relation between the genesis of soils and annual rainfall. Therefore, we relate the genesis of soil orders that form under relatively warm conditions to specific degrees of seasonality of rainfall when other factors such as parent material and relief are relatively constant.

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Contents

SEPM Special Publication

Climate Controls on Stratigraphy

C. Blaine Cecil
C. Blaine Cecil
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N. Terence Edgar
N. Terence Edgar
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SEPM Society for Sedimentary Geology
Volume
77
ISBN electronic:
9781565762145
Publication date:
January 01, 2003

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