The influence of landscape connectivity and landslide dynamics upon channel adjustments and sediment flux in the Liwu Basin, Taiwan

Cheng Wei Kuo*, Gary Brierley

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

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.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2038-2055
Number of pages18
JournalEarth Surface Processes and Landforms
Volume39
Issue number15
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2014
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Channel adjustment
  • Landscape connectivity
  • Landslide
  • Magnitude-frequency relationships
  • Sensitivity

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