Abstract The issue of determining the driving factors in gullying, apart from land use, is somewhat lagging in comparison with the study of their physical modelling and control technology. Available information focuses on the basic ideas of climatic control, anthropic determinism and internal “authigenic” dynamics. High resolution chronology of cyclic systems, common in extensively gullied areas, can provide a clue to the weight of each factor. This paper reports a study of this kind, focusing on two gully catchments in the Main Ethiopian Rift (MER), but backed by an extensive regional survey. By integrating tracing and correlation of unconformity-bounded stratigraphic units and soils with radiocarbon dating, a detailed chronology was obtained for the last 5000 years. This could be compared with proxy climate reconstructions of similar detail. Clear evidence of climatic control emerged; gully filling is triggered by decreased stream transport capacity and increased sediment supply during transitions towards drier climate phases, while gully entrenchment appears to take place at the start of moist intervals, for the reverse reasons. A broader consideration of geological setting, however, puts forward a more general interpretation. These gullies actually formed, in the beginning, as part of the land surface response to sudden, very recent tectonic events, which created accommodation space for temporary sediment stores. They should then be seen in the frame of the Discontinuous Ephemeral Stream (DES) concept; as such, they are intrinsically non-linear and complex phenomena, whose response is linearized by a strong climatic–vegetational forcing, acting on both channel flow and sediment supply.

Dynamics and driving factors of late Holocene gullying in the Main Ethiopian Rift (MER) / Carnicelli, Stefano; Benvenuti, Marco; Ferrari, Giovanni; Sagri, Mario. - In: GEOMORPHOLOGY. - ISSN 0169-555X. - STAMPA. - 103:(2008), pp. 541-554. [10.1016/j.geomorph.2008.07.019]

Dynamics and driving factors of late Holocene gullying in the Main Ethiopian Rift (MER)

CARNICELLI, STEFANO;BENVENUTI, MARCO;FERRARI, GIOVANNI;SAGRI, MARIO
2008

Abstract

Abstract The issue of determining the driving factors in gullying, apart from land use, is somewhat lagging in comparison with the study of their physical modelling and control technology. Available information focuses on the basic ideas of climatic control, anthropic determinism and internal “authigenic” dynamics. High resolution chronology of cyclic systems, common in extensively gullied areas, can provide a clue to the weight of each factor. This paper reports a study of this kind, focusing on two gully catchments in the Main Ethiopian Rift (MER), but backed by an extensive regional survey. By integrating tracing and correlation of unconformity-bounded stratigraphic units and soils with radiocarbon dating, a detailed chronology was obtained for the last 5000 years. This could be compared with proxy climate reconstructions of similar detail. Clear evidence of climatic control emerged; gully filling is triggered by decreased stream transport capacity and increased sediment supply during transitions towards drier climate phases, while gully entrenchment appears to take place at the start of moist intervals, for the reverse reasons. A broader consideration of geological setting, however, puts forward a more general interpretation. These gullies actually formed, in the beginning, as part of the land surface response to sudden, very recent tectonic events, which created accommodation space for temporary sediment stores. They should then be seen in the frame of the Discontinuous Ephemeral Stream (DES) concept; as such, they are intrinsically non-linear and complex phenomena, whose response is linearized by a strong climatic–vegetational forcing, acting on both channel flow and sediment supply.
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541
554
Carnicelli, Stefano; Benvenuti, Marco; Ferrari, Giovanni; Sagri, Mario
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/2158/323824
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