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Climate and the Pace of Erosional Landscape Evolution

Climate and the Pace of Erosional Landscape Evolution Earth's climate affects nearly all aspects of landscape evolution, from the breakdown of rock to the delivery of sediment to the oceans. Yet quantifying climate's influence on landscapes is a major challenge, not only because it is difficult to know how landscapes responded to past changes in climate, but also because landscapes are shaped by various processes that respond to climate in different ways. I review the current state of efforts to quantify climate's effects on the rates of the main processes that drive landscape evolution, with a focus on unglaciated landscapes formed by bedrock erosion. Although many uncertainties remain, recent research has clarified how the processes governing hillslopes, bedrock channels, and chemical erosion depend on major climate factors such as precipitation and temperature. A few themes emerge, including the importance of climatically mediated biological processes, the role of variability, and the value of natural experiments for revealing climate's effects. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Annual Review of Earth and Planetary Sciences Annual Reviews

Climate and the Pace of Erosional Landscape Evolution

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Publisher
Annual Reviews
Copyright
Copyright 2017 by Annual Reviews. All rights reserved
ISSN
0084-6597
eISSN
1545-4495
DOI
10.1146/annurev-earth-060614-105405
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Earth's climate affects nearly all aspects of landscape evolution, from the breakdown of rock to the delivery of sediment to the oceans. Yet quantifying climate's influence on landscapes is a major challenge, not only because it is difficult to know how landscapes responded to past changes in climate, but also because landscapes are shaped by various processes that respond to climate in different ways. I review the current state of efforts to quantify climate's effects on the rates of the main processes that drive landscape evolution, with a focus on unglaciated landscapes formed by bedrock erosion. Although many uncertainties remain, recent research has clarified how the processes governing hillslopes, bedrock channels, and chemical erosion depend on major climate factors such as precipitation and temperature. A few themes emerge, including the importance of climatically mediated biological processes, the role of variability, and the value of natural experiments for revealing climate's effects.

Journal

Annual Review of Earth and Planetary SciencesAnnual Reviews

Published: Aug 30, 2017

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