Controls over sediment flux along soil-mantled hillslopes: Insights from granular dynamics simulations Academic Article uri icon


  • Sediment flux from soil‐mantled hillslopes controls the volume of sediments delivered to rivers, the rate of rock exhumation, and the topographic evolution of hillslopes. Recent studies inferred a nonlinear relation between the topographic slope and the flux, but the functional forms proposed to date generally lack mechanistic explanations. Furthermore, although soil‐mantled hillslopes commonly reside below the angle of repose, and environmental disturbances have been invoked as facilitating sediment mobilization, how disturbances control the flux has received little investigation. Here we develop and employ a discrete element granular dynamics numerical model to study the relations between flux, slope, and disturbance characteristics at the grain scale. The numerical grains are subjected to gravitational body forces, contact forces, and random external perturbation forces …

publication date

  • January 1, 2018