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Landscape evolution in south-central Minnesota and the role of geomorphic history on modern erosional processes

By:
, , , , , ,
DOI: 10.1130/G121A.1

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Abstract

The Minnesota River Valley was carved during catastrophic drainage of glacial Lake Agassiz at the end of the late Pleistocene. The ensuing base-level drop on tributaries created knickpoints that excavated deep valleys as they migrated upstream. A sediment budget compiled in one of these tributaries, the Le Sueur River, shows that these deep valleys are now the primary source of sediment to the Minnesota River. To compare modern sediment loads with pre-European settlement erosion rates, we analyzed incision history using fluvial terrace ages to constrain a valley incision model. Results indicate that even thoughthe dominant sediment sources are derived from natural sources (bluffs, ravines, and streambanks), erosion rates have increased substantially, due in part to pervasive changes in watershed hydrology.

Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Conference Paper
Publication Subtype:
Conference Paper
Title:
Landscape evolution in south-central Minnesota and the role of geomorphic history on modern erosional processes
DOI:
10.1130/G121A.1
Volume
21
Issue:
9
Year Published:
2011
Language:
English
Larger Work Title:
GSA Today
First page:
7
Last page:
9
Number of Pages:
3