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Abstract

This field trip highlights gully erosion in the Denver Basin in eastern Colorado. We will explore gully dynamics including: cycles of channel filling and erosion, head-cut migration, and landscape evolution. Research on this site combines observations of modern processes through field instrumentation and a perspective on Quaternary evolution with optically stimulated luminescence dating. Our work at this site has produced insight into the nature of gully erosion. We have found that headcut retreat is controlled by both saturation and drying events, and there is a correlation between the headcut retreat rate and the upstream drainage area. Additionally, through numerical modeling we found that vegetation patterns control long-term gully longitudinal profiles evolution.

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