Effects of Mass Wasting and Uplift on Fluvial Networks within the Central Franciscan Melange Complex - Eel River, CA
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The Eel River watershed has a high concentration of slow-moving landslides, or earthflows, due to argillaceous mélange bedrock and high tectonic uplift. Earthflows within this area are highly dissected by ephemeral channels, or gullies. Despite the pervasiveness of gullying in this area, the role of fluvial systems in relation to earthflows and varying uplift is poorly understood. To understand the role of earthflows and tectonics in dictating channel processes, we investigate channels in areas of differential uplift and mass failure activity. Channel networks are connected and continuous in catchments without earthflows, and disconnected and prone to bank failure on earthflow surfaces. Gully profiles are influenced BY earthflow undulations, which attenuate with fluvial incision after earthflows cease activity. We find notable differences in fluvial dissection between areas of high and low landslide activity. We find that mass wasting and local bedrock have a strong influence on formation and organization of channels.