HyLands 1.0: a hybrid landscape evolution model to simulate the impact of landslides and landslide-derived sediment on landscape evolution
Geoscientific Model Development
Abstract. Landslides are the main source of sediment in most mountain ranges. Rivers then act as conveyor belts, evacuating landslide-derived sediment. Sediment dynamics are known to influence landscape evolution through interactions among landslide sediment delivery, fluvial transport and river incision into bedrock. Sediment delivery and its interaction with river incision therefore control the pace of landscape evolution and mediate relationships among tectonics, climate and erosion.
... nd erosion. Numerical landscape evolution models (LEMs) are well suited to study the interactions among these surface processes. They enable evaluation of a range of hypotheses at varying temporal and spatial scales. While many models have been used to study the dynamic interplay between tectonics, erosion and climate, the role of interactions between landslide-derived sediment and river incision has received much less attention. Here, we present HyLands, a hybrid landscape evolution model integrated within the TopoToolbox Landscape Evolution Model (TTLEM) framework. The hybrid nature of the model lies in its capacity to simulate both erosion and deposition at any place in the landscape due to fluvial bedrock incision, sediment transport, and rapid, stochastic mass wasting through landsliding. Fluvial sediment transport and bedrock incision are calculated using the recently developed Stream Power with Alluvium Conservation and Entrainment (SPACE) model. Therefore, rivers can dynamically transition from detachment-limited to transport-limited and from bedrock to bedrock–alluvial to fully alluviated states. Erosion and sediment production by landsliding are calculated using a Mohr–Coulomb stability analysis, while landslide-derived sediment is routed and deposited using a multiple-flow-direction, nonlinear deposition method. We describe and evaluate the HyLands 1.0 model using analytical solutions and observations. We first illustrate the functionality of HyLands to capture river dynamics ranging from detachment-limited to transport-limited conditions. Second, we apply the model to a portion of the Namche Barwa massif in eastern Tibet and compare simulated and observed landslide magnitude–frequency and area–volume scaling relationships. Finally, we illustrate the relevance of explicitly simulating landsliding and sediment dynamics over longer timescales for landscape evolution in general and river dynamics in particular. With HyLands we provide a new tool to understand both the long- and short-term coupling between stochastic hillslope processes, river incision and source-to-sink sediment dynamics.