Abstract

Morphologic dating of hillslopes is the determination of the age of a hillslope by its morphology. Current methods match the observed morphology with the morphology predicted by the diffusion-equation model for hillslope evolution. The morphologic dating method presented here requires no specific model for evolution, but is only applicable to transport-limited hillslopes on which the downslope debris flux is some scale- and time-independent function of slope angle. If these conditions are met, changes in morphology with scale (e.g., height) for a set of hillslopes of a fixed age are identical to changes in morphology with time for a hillslope of a fixed scale. This fact provides the basis for a simple, generally applicable method for morphologically dating such hillslopes with any initial morphology. This new dating method may be applied to a wide variety of vegetated hillslopes in temperate humid regions and is an improvement over previous morphologic dating methods that relied on the diffusion-equation model.

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