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Factors influencing the presence or absence of tributary-junction fans in the Iberian Range, Spain

AutorGómez-Villar, Amelia; Álvarez-Martínez, Javier; García-Ruiz, José María
Palabras claveAlluvial fans
Sediment supply
Basin morphometry
Depositional area
Land use change
Iberian range
Fecha de publicación29-nov-2006
CitaciónGeomorphology 81(3-4): 252-264 (2006)
ResumenThis paper analyses the factors which influence the presence or absence of tributary-junction fans in the Iberian Range, northern Spain. Two valleys were selected, both characterised by wide variations in lithology, altitude, land use and plant cover. Two groups of factors were studied: those related to the internal characteristics of the drainage basins, which particularly control sediment generation; and those related to the characteristics of the depositional area which control accommodation space and main river power. Among the internal factors, the development of alluvial fans was related to: (i) the capacity of the basin to yield large volumes of sediment, (ii) the occurrence of intense human pressure until recent times, a good indicator of sediment yield, and (iii) the capacity of the basin to quickly increase discharge during rainstorms (discharge density and torrentiality). It is suggested that the areas that were intensively cultivated in the past, and have therefore been affected by intense erosion, have played a decisive role on the development of alluvial fans. This would imply that many of these alluvial fans have a relatively recent origin, perhaps related to the beginning of a widespread deforestation. The basins without alluvial fans are characterised by relatively steep hillslope gradients (that is, slopes that never were subjected to historical cultivation), low drainage densities and dense forest and shrub cover, mostly coinciding with high altitude basins composed of quartzite and shale bedrocks. Regarding the external factors, the shape, size and longitudinal gradient of the main river to which the fans are tributary are the most relevant conditioning factors determining the development of alluvial fans.
Descripción13 páginas, 7 figuras, 7 tablas.-- El documento en word es la versión post-print del artículo.
Versión del editorhttp://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.geomorph.2006.04.011
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