Skip to content

Research at St Andrews

Transient fluvial incision in the headwaters of the Yellow River, northeastern Tibet, China

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

DOI

Standard

Transient fluvial incision in the headwaters of the Yellow River, northeastern Tibet, China. / Harkins, Nathan; Kirby, Eric; Heimsath, Arjun; Robinson, Ruth; Reiser, Uwe.

In: Journal of Geophysical Research - Earth Surface, Vol. 112, 22.09.2007.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Harvard

Harkins, N, Kirby, E, Heimsath, A, Robinson, R & Reiser, U 2007, 'Transient fluvial incision in the headwaters of the Yellow River, northeastern Tibet, China' Journal of Geophysical Research - Earth Surface, vol. 112. https://doi.org/10.1029/2006JF000570

APA

Harkins, N., Kirby, E., Heimsath, A., Robinson, R., & Reiser, U. (2007). Transient fluvial incision in the headwaters of the Yellow River, northeastern Tibet, China. Journal of Geophysical Research - Earth Surface, 112. https://doi.org/10.1029/2006JF000570

Vancouver

Harkins N, Kirby E, Heimsath A, Robinson R, Reiser U. Transient fluvial incision in the headwaters of the Yellow River, northeastern Tibet, China. Journal of Geophysical Research - Earth Surface. 2007 Sep 22;112. https://doi.org/10.1029/2006JF000570

Author

Harkins, Nathan ; Kirby, Eric ; Heimsath, Arjun ; Robinson, Ruth ; Reiser, Uwe. / Transient fluvial incision in the headwaters of the Yellow River, northeastern Tibet, China. In: Journal of Geophysical Research - Earth Surface. 2007 ; Vol. 112.

Bibtex - Download

@article{73aedcf08fd947a1b90c97000278cec2,
title = "Transient fluvial incision in the headwaters of the Yellow River, northeastern Tibet, China",
abstract = "We utilize topographic analysis of channel profiles combined with field measurements of erosion rates to explore the distribution of channel incision in the Anyemaqen Shan, a broad mountainous region in the northeastern Tibetan plateau. Tributary channels to the Yellow River display systematic downstream increases in channel gradient associated with convex upward longitudinal profiles. Steep lower reaches of channels are associated with rapid (> 1 m/ ka) incision rates along the Yellow River, while upstream reaches are associated with relatively slow ( 0.05 - 0.1 m/ ka) erosion of soil- mantled uplands. Covariance between erosion rates and channel steepness indices suggest that channels are adjusted to match long- wavelength differential rock uplift across the range. Geologic constraints indicate that rapid incision downstream of the range is associated with excavation of basin fill driven by changes in relative base level farther downstream. The upstream limit of this wave of transient incision is marked by a series of knickpoints that are found at nearly the same elevation throughout the watershed, consistent with knickpoint migration as a kinematic, rather than diffusional, wave. Tributary channel gradients downstream of knickpoints, however, display a progressive adjustment to increased incision rates that may reflect the influence of increased sediment flux. Comparison of observed channel profiles to a stream power model of fluvial behavior reveals that the rate of knickpoint propagation can only be explained if the erosional efficiency coefficient ( K) increases during incision. Our results thus highlight the utility of channel profile analysis to reconstruct the fluvial response to both active tectonism and external changes in base level.",
keywords = "LANDSCAPE RESPONSE, EROSION RATES, STEADY-STATE, KNICKPOINT DEVELOPMENT, COSMOGENIC NUCLIDES, ALLUVIAL SEDIMENT, BASIN EVOLUTION, UPLIFT RATES, DEBRIS FLOWS, ROCK-UPLIFT",
author = "Nathan Harkins and Eric Kirby and Arjun Heimsath and Ruth Robinson and Uwe Reiser",
year = "2007",
month = "9",
day = "22",
doi = "10.1029/2006JF000570",
language = "English",
volume = "112",
journal = "Journal of Geophysical Research - Earth Surface",
issn = "2169-9011",
publisher = "John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.",

}

RIS (suitable for import to EndNote) - Download

TY - JOUR

T1 - Transient fluvial incision in the headwaters of the Yellow River, northeastern Tibet, China

AU - Harkins, Nathan

AU - Kirby, Eric

AU - Heimsath, Arjun

AU - Robinson, Ruth

AU - Reiser, Uwe

PY - 2007/9/22

Y1 - 2007/9/22

N2 - We utilize topographic analysis of channel profiles combined with field measurements of erosion rates to explore the distribution of channel incision in the Anyemaqen Shan, a broad mountainous region in the northeastern Tibetan plateau. Tributary channels to the Yellow River display systematic downstream increases in channel gradient associated with convex upward longitudinal profiles. Steep lower reaches of channels are associated with rapid (> 1 m/ ka) incision rates along the Yellow River, while upstream reaches are associated with relatively slow ( 0.05 - 0.1 m/ ka) erosion of soil- mantled uplands. Covariance between erosion rates and channel steepness indices suggest that channels are adjusted to match long- wavelength differential rock uplift across the range. Geologic constraints indicate that rapid incision downstream of the range is associated with excavation of basin fill driven by changes in relative base level farther downstream. The upstream limit of this wave of transient incision is marked by a series of knickpoints that are found at nearly the same elevation throughout the watershed, consistent with knickpoint migration as a kinematic, rather than diffusional, wave. Tributary channel gradients downstream of knickpoints, however, display a progressive adjustment to increased incision rates that may reflect the influence of increased sediment flux. Comparison of observed channel profiles to a stream power model of fluvial behavior reveals that the rate of knickpoint propagation can only be explained if the erosional efficiency coefficient ( K) increases during incision. Our results thus highlight the utility of channel profile analysis to reconstruct the fluvial response to both active tectonism and external changes in base level.

AB - We utilize topographic analysis of channel profiles combined with field measurements of erosion rates to explore the distribution of channel incision in the Anyemaqen Shan, a broad mountainous region in the northeastern Tibetan plateau. Tributary channels to the Yellow River display systematic downstream increases in channel gradient associated with convex upward longitudinal profiles. Steep lower reaches of channels are associated with rapid (> 1 m/ ka) incision rates along the Yellow River, while upstream reaches are associated with relatively slow ( 0.05 - 0.1 m/ ka) erosion of soil- mantled uplands. Covariance between erosion rates and channel steepness indices suggest that channels are adjusted to match long- wavelength differential rock uplift across the range. Geologic constraints indicate that rapid incision downstream of the range is associated with excavation of basin fill driven by changes in relative base level farther downstream. The upstream limit of this wave of transient incision is marked by a series of knickpoints that are found at nearly the same elevation throughout the watershed, consistent with knickpoint migration as a kinematic, rather than diffusional, wave. Tributary channel gradients downstream of knickpoints, however, display a progressive adjustment to increased incision rates that may reflect the influence of increased sediment flux. Comparison of observed channel profiles to a stream power model of fluvial behavior reveals that the rate of knickpoint propagation can only be explained if the erosional efficiency coefficient ( K) increases during incision. Our results thus highlight the utility of channel profile analysis to reconstruct the fluvial response to both active tectonism and external changes in base level.

KW - LANDSCAPE RESPONSE

KW - EROSION RATES

KW - STEADY-STATE

KW - KNICKPOINT DEVELOPMENT

KW - COSMOGENIC NUCLIDES

KW - ALLUVIAL SEDIMENT

KW - BASIN EVOLUTION

KW - UPLIFT RATES

KW - DEBRIS FLOWS

KW - ROCK-UPLIFT

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=36248937667&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1029/2006JF000570

DO - 10.1029/2006JF000570

M3 - Article

VL - 112

JO - Journal of Geophysical Research - Earth Surface

T2 - Journal of Geophysical Research - Earth Surface

JF - Journal of Geophysical Research - Earth Surface

SN - 2169-9011

ER -

Related by author

  1. Evolution of the Mozambique Belt in Malawi constrained by granitoid U-Pb, Sm-Nd and Lu-Hf isotopic data

    Manda, B. W. C., Cawood, P. A., Spencer, C. J., Prave, T., Robinson, R. & Roberts, N. M. W., 29 Nov 2018, In : Gondwana Research. In press

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  2. Rapid and punctuated Late Holocene recession of Siling Co, central Tibet

    Shi, X., Kirby, E., Furlong, K. P., Meng, K., Robinson, R., Lu, H. & Wang, E., 15 Sep 2017, In : Quaternary Science Reviews. 172, p. 15-31 17 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  3. Landscape response to late Pleistocene climate change in NW Argentina: sediment flux modulated by basin geometry and connectivity

    Schildgen, T. F., Robinson, R. A. J., Savi, S., Phillips, W. M., Spencer, J. Q. G., Bookhagen, B., Scherler, D., Tofelde, S., Alonso, R. N., Kubik, P. W., Binnie, S. A. & Strecker, M. R., Feb 2016, In : Journal of Geophysical Research - Earth Surface. 121, 2, p. 392-414 23 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  4. Fluvio-deltaic avulsions during relative sea-level fall

    Nijhuis, A. G., Edmonds, D. A., Caldwell, R. L., Cederberg, J. A., Slingerland, R. L., Best, J. L., Parsons, D. R. & Robinson, R. A. J., Aug 2015, In : Geology. 43, 8, p. 719-722 4 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Related by journal

  1. Physical conditions of fast glacier flow: 3. Seasonally-evolving ice deformation on Store Glacier, West Greenland

    Young, T. J., Christoffersen, P., Doyle, S. H., Nicholls, K. W., Stewart, C. L., Hubbard, B., Hubbard, A., Lok, L. B., Brennan, P., Benn, D. I., Luckman, A. & Bougamont, M., Jan 2019, In : Journal of Geophysical Research - Earth Surface. 124, 1, p. 245-267 23 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  2. A full-Stokes 3D calving model applied to a large Greenlandic glacier

    Todd, J., Christoffersen, P., Zwinger, T., Råback, P., Chauché, N., Benn, D., Luckman, A., Ryan, J., Toberg, N., Slater, D. & Hubbard, A., 1 Mar 2018, In : Journal of Geophysical Research - Earth Surface. 123, 3, p. 410-432 23 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  3. Glacier calving rates due to subglacial discharge, fjord circulation, and free convection

    Schild, K. M., Renshaw, C. E., Benn, D. I., Luckman, A., Hawley, R. L., How, P., Trusel, L., Cottier, F. R., Pramanik, A. & Hulton, N. R. J., 15 Sep 2018, In : Journal of Geophysical Research - Earth Surface. Early View, 16 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  4. Tidewater glacier surges initiated at the terminus

    Sevestre, H., Benn, D. I., Luckman, A., Nuth, C., Kohler, J., Lindbäck, K. & Pettersson, R., 26 Apr 2018, In : Journal of Geophysical Research - Earth Surface. In press

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  5. Ice and firn heterogeneity within Larsen C Ice Shelf from borehole optical televiewing

    Ashmore, D. W., Hubbard, B., Luckman, A., Kulessa, B., Bevan, S., Booth, A., Munneke, P. K., O'Leary, M., Sevestre, H. & Holland, P. R., May 2017, In : Journal of Geophysical Research - Earth Surface. 122, 5, p. 1139-1153 15 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

ID: 634444