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A global modelling of the climatic, morphological, and lithological control of river sediment discharges to the oceans

Ludwig, Wolfgang and Probst, Jean-Luc A global modelling of the climatic, morphological, and lithological control of river sediment discharges to the oceans. (1996) Bulletin of the International Association of Scientific Hydrology, vol. 236 . pp. 21-28.

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Official URL: http://iahs.info/redbooks/a236/iahs_236_0021.pdf

Abstract

In this study, we investigate the empirical relationships between river sediment yields and a large number of hydroclimatic, biological, and geomorphological parameters at the global scale. For a set of 60 major world river basins, environmental characteristics were extracted from various global computer datasets, and river sediment fluxes were taken from the literature. Sediment yields can be best correlated by forming the products of hydroclimatic, geomorphological and lithological factors, that is drainage intensity, basin slope, an index characterising rock hardness, and an index characterising rainfall variability over the year. The best correlated parameter combination varies when the rivers are grouped according to their average climatic situation, but it is always a combination of the above-mentioned parameters that yields greatest correlation coefficients. In arid climates, however, regression coefficients are greater than in humid climates, indicating that erodibility is much greater in arid climates. When extrapolated to the total continental area, our models yield a total sediment flux of 14.7 Gt year-1 that is discharged to the oceans. About 40% originates from the wet tropics, 21% from wet temperate climates, 5% from the boreal climates, and 34% from dry climates.

Item Type:Article
Additional Information:Proceedings of the Exeter Symposium, July 1996.The definitive version is available at http://iahs.info/redbooks/a236/iahs_236_0021.pdf
Audience (journal):International peer-reviewed journal
Uncontrolled Keywords:
Institution:French research institutions > Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - CNRS
Other partners > Université Louis Pasteur-Strasbourg I - ULP (FRANCE)
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Deposited By: Florence Amor

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