Storms are important agents for shaping the Earth’s surface and often dominate the landscape evolution of mudstone areas, by rapid erosion and deposition. In our research, we used terrestrial scanning LiDAR (TLS) to detect surface changes in a 30 m in height, 60 m in width mudstone slope. This target slope shows the specific erosion pattern during extreme rainfall events such as typhoons. We investigate two major subjects: (1) how typhoon events impact erosion in the target slope, and (2) how rills develop on the hillslopes during these observation periods. There were three scans obtained in 2011, and converted to two observation periods. The permanent target points (TP) method and DEMs of differences were used to check the accuracy of point cloud. The results showed that the average erosion rate was 5 cm during the dry period in 2011. Following the typhoons, the erosion rate increased 1.4 times to 7 cm and was better correlated with the increase in the rainfall intensity than with general precipitation amounts. The hillslope gradient combined with rainfall intensity played a significant role in the geomorphic process. We found that in areas with over 75° gradients with larger rainfall intensity showed more erosion that at other gradients. The gradient also influenced the rill development, which occurred at middle and low gradients but not at high gradients. The rills also created a transition zone for erosion and deposition at the middle gradient where a minimal change occurred.
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License
which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited