Catchment-scale analyzes of spatial and temporal variability in landscape connectivity are critical considerations in appraisals of landscape evolution and disaster mitigation in tectonically active mountain belts such as Taiwan. This study uses historical aerial photographs, flow discharge and seismic data to analyze landslide changes and channel adjustments over a 30 year period in the Liwu Basin. Recurrent earthquakes and typhoon events trigger frequent landslide activity, channel adjustment and sediment reworking in this system. Spatial variability in magnitude-frequency relations of hillslope-valley floor (lateral) and upstream-downstream (longitudinal) connectivity during the study period are shown to reflect annual reworking in source and accumulation zones, while partly-confined valleys in the mid-catchment area trap sediment behind landslide-induced dams that are formed and breached on an approximately decadal basis. This promotes partial longitudinal connectivity in these areas. Landscape responses to disturbance events were especially pronounced following combinations of seismic and typhoon events prior to the 1998 and 2005 images. Although single high magnitude events and series of moderate events affect patterns of landscape connectivity in the Liwu Basin, residence times for sediment storage are very short in this highly-connected river system, where confined valley settings extend virtually to the coast.
- Channel adjustment
- Landscape connectivity
- Magnitude-frequency relationships