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Article

Origin of Knickpoints in an Alpine Context Subject to Different Perturbing Factors, Stura Valley, Maritime Alps (North-Western Italy)

1
Department of Earth Sciences, University of Pisa, 56126 Pisa, Italy
2
Institute for Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of Potsdam, 14476 Potsdam, Germany
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Geosciences 2018, 8(12), 443; https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences8120443
Received: 31 August 2018 / Revised: 13 November 2018 / Accepted: 15 November 2018 / Published: 28 November 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Quantitative Geomorphology)
Natural catchments are likely to show the existence of knickpoints in their river networks. The origin and genesis of the knickpoints can be manifold, considering that the present morphology is the result of the interactions of different factors such as tectonic movements, quaternary glaciations, river captures, variable lithology, and base-level changes. We analyzed the longitudinal profiles of the river channels in the Stura di Demonte Valley (Maritime Alps) to identify the knickpoints of such an alpine setting and to characterize their origins. The distribution and the geometry of stream profiles were used to identify the possible causes of the changes in stream gradients and to define zones with genetically linked knickpoints. Knickpoints are key geomorphological features for reconstructing the evolution of fluvial dissected basins, when the different perturbing factors affecting the ideally graded fluvial system have been detected. This study shows that even in a regionally small area, perturbations of river profiles are caused by multiple factors. Thus, attributing (automatically)-extracted knickpoints solely to one factor, can potentially lead to incomplete interpretations of catchment evolution. View Full-Text
Keywords: knickpoint; river longitudinal profile; Maritime Alps knickpoint; river longitudinal profile; Maritime Alps
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MDPI and ACS Style

Marrucci, M.; Zeilinger, G.; Ribolini, A.; Schwanghart, W. Origin of Knickpoints in an Alpine Context Subject to Different Perturbing Factors, Stura Valley, Maritime Alps (North-Western Italy). Geosciences 2018, 8, 443. https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences8120443

AMA Style

Marrucci M, Zeilinger G, Ribolini A, Schwanghart W. Origin of Knickpoints in an Alpine Context Subject to Different Perturbing Factors, Stura Valley, Maritime Alps (North-Western Italy). Geosciences. 2018; 8(12):443. https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences8120443

Chicago/Turabian Style

Marrucci, Monica, Gerold Zeilinger, Adriano Ribolini, and Wolfgang Schwanghart. 2018. "Origin of Knickpoints in an Alpine Context Subject to Different Perturbing Factors, Stura Valley, Maritime Alps (North-Western Italy)" Geosciences 8, no. 12: 443. https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences8120443

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