Process-based modelling of the climatic forcing of fluvial sediment flux: some examples and a discussion of optimal model complexity
P. W. Bogaart, R. T. Van Balen, J. Vandenberghe, C. Kasse, 2002. "Process-based modelling of the climatic forcing of fluvial sediment flux: some examples and a discussion of optimal model complexity", Sediment Flux to Basins: Causes, Controls and Consequences, S.J. Jones, L.E. Frostick
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During the complex and highly dynamic climate of the Late Quaternary, precipitation and temperatures were highly variable and generally did not change synchronously. Reconstructed fluvial sedimentological response to this climatic forcing was previously shown to be complex. This response can be understood only by accounting for all the relevant catchment processes. This paper reviews a number of simple numerical models that aim to enhance our understanding of the role of different processes in this climate–sedimentology system. The applicability of these models depends on the scale of the models involved, the required input data and the way that parameters are estimated. Simple process-based models perform best on Quaternary timescales because their data needs are low and parameters can be interpreted in physical terms, which enables an a priori estimation. Process-based models of fluvial dynamics may provide a methodology for the understanding of the mechanisms responsible for the dynamics of sediment flux to basins.
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There is an increasing trend in the Earth sciences towards the integration of many subdisciplines. The sedimendatry basin, is a fundamental focal point of many studies, which as a consequence often neglects the complimentary drainage basin or catchment. Sedimentary basins provide a record of Earth history, reflecting the geographical, lithological, oceanographic and ecological development through the rock record. Drainage basins in comparison record ephemeral landscape evolution, where topography is eroded and provides the flux of sediment to the basin. The basin fill reflects the sediment flux from the hinterland and provides evidence of the dynamic geomorphic processes. In context the drainage system and sedimentary basin can be regarded as a ‘production line’ with sedimentary record giving valuable insight into long-term landscape evolution and geomorphological processes illuminating the evolution of sedimentary basins.
This volume assesses the current position of understanding sediment supply to basins with the integration of the many sub-disciplines in the Earth sciences. It documents a mix of hinterland and sedimentary basin studies with a gradation from orogenic belts to the deep marine. The authors represent a wide spectrum of Earth scientist, with leaders in the science providing review papers and new-directive papers in their field of specialization.