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Channel pattern of proglacial rivers: topographic forcing due to glacier retreatGlacier retreat leads to changes in channel pattern during deglaciation, in response to changing water, sediment and base level controls. Recent ongoing retreat at Skaftafellsjökull, Iceland (c. 50m per year since 1998) has resulted in the formation of a sequence of river terraces, and several changes in river channel pattern. This paper compares widely used models of river channel pattern against the changes observed at Skaftafellsjökull. Doing this reveals the role of topographic forcing in determining proglacial channel pattern, whilst examining the predictive power and limitations of the various approaches to classifying river channels. Topography was found to play a large role in determining channel pattern in proglacial environments for two reasons: firstly, glacier retreat forces rivers to flow through confined moraine reaches. In these reaches, channels which theory predicts should be braided are forced to adopt a single channel. Secondly, proximal incision of proglacial rivers, accompanied by downstream aggradation, leads to changes in slope which force the river to cross channel pattern thresholds. The findings of this work indicate that in the short term, the majority of channel pattern change in proglacial rivers is due to topographic forcing, and that changes due to changing hydrology and sediment supply are initially relatively minor, although likely to increase in significance as deglaciation progresses. These findings have implications for palaeohydraulic studies, where changes in proglacial channel pattern are frequently interpretedas being due to changes in water or sediment supply. This paper shows that channel pattern can change at timescales faster than hydrological or sediment budget changes usually occur, in association with relatively minor changes in glacier mass balance.
Characterising beach intertidal bar systems using multi-annual LiDAR dataIntertidal bars are common in meso-macrotidal low-to-moderate energy coastal environments and an understanding of their morphodynamics is important from the perspective of both coastal scientists and managers. However, previous studies have typically been limited by considering bar systems two-dimensionally, or with very limited alongshore resolution. This paper presents the first multi-annual study of intertidal alongshore bars and troughs in a macro-tidal environment using airborne LiDAR data to extract three-dimensional bar morphology at high resolution. Bar and trough positions are mapped along a 17.5 km stretch of coastline in the northwest of England on the eastern Irish Sea, using eight complete, and one partial, LiDAR surveys spanning 17 years. Typically, 3 – 4 bars are present, with significant obliquity identified in their orientation. This orientation mirrors the alignment of waves from the dominant south-westerly direction of wave approach, undergoing refraction as they approach the shoreline. Bars also become narrower and steeper as they migrate onshore, in a pattern reminiscent of wave shoaling. This suggests that the configuration of the bars is being influenced by overlying wave activity. Net onshore migration is present for the entire coastline, though rates vary alongshore, and periods of offshore migration may occur locally, with greatest variability between northern and southern regions of the coastline. This work highlights the need to consider intertidal bar systems as three-dimensional, particularly on coastlines with complex configurations and bathymetry, as localised studies of bar migration can overlook three-dimensional behaviour. Furthermore, the wider potential of LiDAR data in enabling high-resolution morphodynamic studies is clear, both within the coastal domain and beyond.
Slope–channel coupling between pipes, gullies and tributary channels in the Mocatán catchment badlands, Southeast SpainThis article attempts to develop a conceptual model of the way geologic, topographic, material property and ecological factors combine to explain the complex geomorphological evolution of the Mocatán catchment badlands in Almería, Spain.