Structural and sedimentological connectivity on a rilled hillslope

Authors: Xiaoyu Lu*, University of Tennessee, Yingkui Li, University of Tennessee, Robert Washington-Allen, University of Tennessee; University of Nevada Reno
Topics: Geomorphology, Earth Science, Remote Sensing
Keywords: sediment movement, hillslope processes, connectivity, geomorphology, signal processing
Session Type: Poster
Day: 4/12/2018
Start / End Time: 1:20 PM / 3:00 PM
Room: Napoleon Foyer/Common St. Corridor, Sheraton, 3rd Floor
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


Channels are venues through which the water-mediated sediment are transported. The within-channel (dis)connectivity of sediment routing is governed by the (dis)connectivity of the profiles - the occurrences of local depressions (sinks) and channel confluence. The majority of the current research focuses on the (de)coupling of topographic and sedimentological connectivity on a basin scale, with few examine this phenomenon within a hillslope. This study investigates the trend of sediment transport within a rilled network in Loudon, Tennessee. We used temporal DEMs to quantify the temporal erosion/deposition on the hillslope, and rill basins were segmented at an interval of 0.05 m to summarize the changes along the profile. Our results show that along-profile erosion and deposition both exhibit a log trend, whereas the higher coefficient (2.86) of erosion compared to deposition (2.06) suggests that the magnitude of erosion is dominant. The effective rill length accounts for 46% of the variability for erosion and 24% for deposition. The sinks are correlated with higher erosion at approximately ~10 cm at the downslope direction. The correlations between the erosion and confluence are significant from approximately 20 cm upstream through 25 cm downstream with the peak at 5 cm. The correlation between deposition and the sink is significant from 20 cm to 5 cm upstream with the peak at 10 cm. Our results reveal the various spatial scales of events that compromise the structural connectivity and how it influences the sedimentological connectivity. We also provided a viable method for future studies on channel connectivity.

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