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Rugged Plateaus and Extensive Floodplains — Modelling Landform Evolution in a Northern Australian Catchment

Boggs, Guy S., Evans, Ken G. and Devonport, Christopher (2004). Rugged Plateaus and Extensive Floodplains — Modelling Landform Evolution in a Northern Australian Catchment. Australian Geographical Studies,42(2):260-273.

Document type: Journal Article
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Title Rugged Plateaus and Extensive Floodplains — Modelling Landform Evolution in a Northern Australian Catchment
Author Boggs, Guy S.
Evans, Ken G.
Devonport, Christopher
Journal Name Australian Geographical Studies
Publication Date 2004
Volume Number 42
Issue Number 2
ISSN 0004-9190   (check CDU catalogue open catalogue search in new window)
Scopus ID 2-s2.0-3843086468
Start Page 260
End Page 273
Total Pages 14
Place of Publication Australia
Publisher Wiley-Blackwell Publishing Asia
Field of Research 0406 - Physical Geography and Environmental Geoscience
Abstract Medium to large natural catchments are often more spatially heterogeneous than small catchments or single landforms. Attempting to model landform evolution of large areas is consequently more complex. This paper demonstrates that modelling landform evolution in medium to large catchments can be improved by calibrating the model to smaller, more geomorphologically homogenous subcatchments. The paper investigates landform evolution in the Ngarradj catchment in the Northern Territory of Australia (a medium scale catchment of approximately 67 km2). The catchment is complex and contains two distinct landform regions; an upland plateau region with highly dissected sandstone and shallow, sandy soils, and a lowlands region with gentle, wooded slopes and floodplains with deep, sandy soils. The SIBERIA landform evolution model is calibrated and applied to the Ngarradj catchment. The complexity of the Ngarradj catchment is incorporated into the modelling by dividing the catchment into three sub-catchments (Swift Creek (SC), Upper Main (UM) and East Tributary (ET)) which are relatively homogeneous and for which hydrology and sediment transport data are available. A discharge-area relationship and long-term, sediment loss rates for the catchment are derived based on an annual series flood frequency analysis of a 20 year runoff record predicted in a previous study. Sediment transport modelling incorporates both suspended and bedload sediment loss. The denudation rates derived using these data are 37, 63 and 77 mm kyr-1 for the SC, UM and ET sub-catchments, respectively. Model predictions indicate that the UM sub-catchment will have the greatest mean erosion. This is balanced by the large amount of deposition that will occur in the upper Ngarradj valley of the UM sub-catchment. Further deposition occurs on the floodplain of Ngarradj, with the area between the SC and ET/UM (up-stream) sub-catchments experiencing a small net accretion of sediment (15 mm kyr-1).
Keywords GIS
Landform evolution model
Ngarradj catchment
Northern Territory
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Created: Fri, 29 Aug 2014, 19:11:11 CST by Anthony Hornby