Changes of sediment-yield rates through time reflect evolutionary changes within a landscape. When a drainage basin is perturbed significantly by base-level, climatic, or tectonic change, sediment yields increase dramatically, but with no further disturbance they decline rapidly. These sediment-yield changes have been documented at all scales, from small experimental studies, to incised channels, to the Colorado River basin, and to the Himalaya Mountains. Thus, the shape of the sediment-yield curve can be used to estimate future sediment yields and to interpret past tectonic events.

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