Using a combination of airborne LiDAR (2005) and terrestrial laser scanning (2007, 2008, 2010, 2011), sediment delivery processes and sediment connectivity in an ~20-ha gully complex, which significantly contributes to the Waipaoa sediment cascade, are quantified over a 6-year period. The acquisition of terrain data from high-resolution surveys of the whole gully-fan system provides new insights into slope processes and slope-channel linkages operating in the complex. Raw terrain data from the airborne and ground-based laser scans were converted into raster DEMs with a vertical accuracy between surveys of <±0.1m. Grid elevations in each successive DEM were subtracted from the previous DEM to provide models of change across the gully and fan complex. In these models deposition equates to positive and erosion to negative vertical change. Debris flows, slumping, and erosion by surface runoff (gullying in the conventional sense) generated on average 95,232m3 of sediment annually, with a standard deviation of ±20,806m3. The volumes of debris eroded from those areas dominated by surface erosion processes were higher than in areas dominated by landslide processes. Over the six-year study period, sediment delivery from the source zones to the fan was a factor of 1.4 times larger than the volume of debris exported from the fan into Te Weraroa Stream. The average annual volume of sediment exported to Te Weraroa Stream varies widely from 23,195 to 102,796m3. Fluctuations in the volume of stored sediment within the fan, rather than external forcing by rainstorms or earthquakes, account for this annual variation. No large rainfall events occurred during the monitoring period; therefore, sediment volumes and transfer processes captured by this study are representative of the background conditions that operate in this geomorphic system.
Geomorphology – Elsevier
Published: Apr 15, 2018
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