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  1. These data were generated as part of a research project focused on montiroing sediment flux in dryland ecosystems following wildfire. In six separate small plots, three burned and three unburned, we conducted light detection and ranging (lidar) topographic surveys in 2016, 2017, and 2018 to document elevation changes and the volume of sediment deposition and erosion. At the down-wind edge of each plot, we used sediment catchers to trap sediment exiting the plots and thus estimate erosion volumes using in-situ equipment, which provided a secondary measurement of sediment efflux from all sites in addition to the lidar data. We used the geomorphic change detection software ( to produce maps of topographic change from the lidar digital elevation models for the 2016-2017 and 2017-2018 periods at all plots, burned and unburned. Results from this project may aid in understanding post-fire transport of sediment and nutrients from drylands following wildfire. 
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  2. Abstract

    Sediment transfer, or connectivity, by aeolian processes between channel-proximal and upland deposits in river valleys is important for the maintenance of river corridor biophysical characteristics. In regulated river systems, dams control the magnitude and duration of discharge. Alterations to the flow regime driven by dams that increase the inundation duration of sediment, or which drive the encroachment of vegetation into areas formerly composed of labile sediment and result in channel narrowing, may reduce sediment transfer from near-channel deposits to uplands via aeolian processes. Employing spatial methods developed by Kaspraket al(2018Prog. Phys. Geogr.), here we use data describing the areal extent of bare (i.e. subaerially exposed and non-vegetated) sediment along 168 km of the Colorado River downstream from Glen Canyon Dam in Grand Canyon, USA, in conjunction with inundation extent modeling to forecast how future flows of this highly regulated river will drive changes in the areal extent of sediment available for aeolian transport. We also compare modern bare sediment area to that which presumably would have existed under pre-dam hydrographs. Over the next two decades, the planned flow regime from Glen Canyon Dam will result in slight decreases in bare sediment area (−1%) on an annual scale. This is in contrast to pre-dam years, when unregulated low flows led to marked increases in bare sediment area as compared to the current discharge regime. Our findings also indicate that ∼75% of bare sediment in the study reach is inundated continuously at present, owing to increased baseflows in the post-dam flow regime; consequently, any reductions in flows below modern-day low discharges have the potential to expose large areas of bare sediment. We use vegetation modeling to quantify areas susceptible to vegetation encroachment under future flows, finding that 80% of bare sediment area is suitable for colonization by invasive tamarisk under the current flow regime. Our findings imply that the Colorado River in Grand Canyon, a system marked by widespread erosion of sediment resources and encroachment of riparian vegetation in the post-dam period, is likely to continue to see decreasing bare sediment extent over the coming decades in the absence of direct intervention through flow regime modification or widespread vegetation removal.

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  3. Abstract

    Over the last several decades, the study of Earth surface processes has progressed from a descriptive science to an increasingly quantitative one due to advances in theoretical, experimental, and computational geosciences. The importance of geomorphic forecasts has never been greater, as technological development and global climate change threaten to reshape the landscapes that support human societies and natural ecosystems. Here we explore best practices for developing socially relevant forecasts of Earth surface change, a goal we are calling “earthcasting”. We suggest that earthcasts have the following features: they focus on temporal (∼1–∼100 years) and spatial (∼1 m–∼10 km) scales relevant to planning; they are designed with direct involvement of stakeholders and public beneficiaries through the evaluation of the socioeconomic impacts of geomorphic processes; and they generate forecasts that are clearly stated, testable, and include quantitative uncertainties. Earthcasts bridge the gap between Earth surface researchers and decision‐makers, stakeholders, researchers from other disciplines, and the general public. We investigate the defining features of earthcasts and evaluate some specific examples. This paper builds on previous studies of prediction in geomorphology by recommending a roadmap for (a) generating earthcasts, especially those based on modeling; (b) transforming a subset of geomorphic research into earthcasts; and (c) communicating earthcasts beyond the geomorphology research community. Earthcasting exemplifies the social benefit of geomorphology research, and it calls for renewed research efforts toward further understanding the limits of predictability of Earth surface systems and processes, and the uncertainties associated with modeling geomorphic processes and their impacts.

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