Skip to Main Content
Mountain erosion over 10 yr, 10 k.y., and 10 m.y. time scalesAuthor(s): James W. Kirchner; Robert C. Finkel; Clifford S. Riebe; Darryl E. Granger; James L. Clayton; John G. King; Walter F. Megahan
Source: Geology. 29(7): 591-594
Publication Series: Miscellaneous Publication
PDF: View PDF (102 KB)
DescriptionWe used cosmogenic 10Be to measure erosion rates over 10 k.y. time scales at 32 Idaho mountain catchments, ranging from small experimental watersheds (0.2 km2) to large river basins (35 000 km2). These long-term sediment yields are, on average, 17 times higher than stream sediment fluxes measured over 10–84 yr, but are consistent with 10 m.y. erosion rates measured by apatite fission tracks. Our results imply that conventional sediment-yield measurements—even those made over decades—can greatly underestimate long-term average rates of sediment delivery and thus overestimate the life spans of engineered reservoirs. Our observations also suggest that sediment delivery from mountainous terrain is extremely episodic, sporadically subjecting mountain stream ecosystems to extensive disturbance.
- You may send email to email@example.com to request a hard copy of this publication.
- (Please specify exactly which publication you are requesting and your mailing address.)
- We recommend that you also print this page and attach it to the printout of the article, to retain the full citation information.
- This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.
CitationKirchner, James W.; Finkel, Robert C.; Riebe, Clifford S.; Granger, Darryl E.; Clayton, James L.; King, John G.; Megahan, Walter F. 2001. Mountain erosion over 10 yr, 10 k.y., and 10 m.y. time scales. Geology. 29(7): 591-594
Keywordserosion rates, sediment yield, Idaho batholith, variability, time scales
- Wind erosion of soils burned by wildfire
- Rill erosion in natural and disturbed forests: 1. Measurements
- Modeling erosion from forest roads with WEPP
XML: View XML