Topography of inland deltas: Observations, modeling, and experiments
AuthorSeybold, H. J.
Akça, Mehmet Devrim
Tavares, M. Cavalcanti
Andrade, J. S., Jr.
Herrmann, H. J.
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CitationSeybold, H., Molnar, P., Akça, M. D., Doumi, M., Tavares, M., Shinbrot, T., . . . Herrmann, H. (2010). Topography of inland deltas: Observations, modeling, and experiments. Geophysical Research Letters, 37(8), 1-5. doi:10.1029/2009GL041605
The topography of inland deltas is influenced by the water-sediment balance in distributary channels and local evaporation and seepage rates. In this letter a reduced complexity model is applied to simulate inland delta formation, and results are compared with the Okavango Delta, Botswana and with a laboratory experiment. We show that water loss in inland deltas produces fundamentally different dynamics of water and sediment transport than coastal deltas, especially deposition associated with expansion-contraction dynamics at the channel head. These dynamics lead to a systematic decrease in the mean topographic slope of the inland delta with distance from the apex following a power law with exponent alpha = -0.69 +/- 0.02 where the data for both simulation and experiment can be collapsed onto a single curve. In coastal deltas, on the contrary, the slope increases toward the end of the deposition zone.