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  1. Wickert, A. (Ed.)

    Abstract. Progress in better understanding and modeling Earth surface systems requires an ongoing integration of data and numerical models. Advances are currently hampered by technical barriers that inhibit finding, accessing, and executing modeling software with related datasets. We propose a design framework for Data Components, which are software packages that provide access to particular research datasets or types of data. Because they use a standard interface based on the Basic Model Interface (BMI), Data Components can function as plug-and-play components within modeling frameworks to facilitate seamless data–model integration. To illustrate the design and potential applications of Data Components and their advantages, we present several case studies in Earth surface processes analysis and modeling. The results demonstrate that the Data Component design provides a consistent and efficient way to access heterogeneous datasets from multiple sources and to seamlessly integrate them with various models. This design supports the creation of open data–model integration workflows that can be discovered, accessed, and reproduced through online data sharing platforms, which promotes data reuse and improves research transparency and reproducibility.

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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available January 1, 2025
  2. Rivers originating in High Mountain Asia are crucial lifelines for one-third of the world’s population. These fragile headwaters are now experiencing amplified climate change, glacier melt, and permafrost thaw. Observational data from 28 headwater basins demonstrate substantial increases in both annual runoff and annual sediment fluxes across the past six decades. The increases are accelerating from the mid-1990s in response to a warmer and wetter climate. The total sediment flux from High Mountain Asia is projected to more than double by 2050 under an extreme climate change scenario. These findings have far-reaching implications for the region’s hydropower, food, and environmental security. 
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  3. Abstract. Computational modeling occupies a unique niche in Earth and environmental sciences. Models serve not just as scientific technology and infrastructure but also as digital containers of the scientific community's understanding of the natural world. As this understanding improves, so too must the associated software. This dual nature – models as both infrastructure and hypotheses – means that modeling software must be designed to evolve continually as geoscientific knowledge itself evolves. Here we describe design principles, protocols, and tools developed by the Community Surface Dynamics Modeling System (CSDMS) to promote a flexible, interoperable, and ever-improving research software ecosystem. These include a community repository for model sharing and metadata, interface and ontology standards for model interoperability, language-bridging tools, a modular programming library for model construction, modular software components for data access, and a Python-based execution and model-coupling framework. Methods of community support and engagement that help create a community-centered software ecosystem are also discussed. 
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  4. The study of modern hurricane deposits is useful both in identifying ancient hurricane deposits in the rock record and predicting patterns of deposition and erosion produced by future storm events. Hurricane deposits on carbonate platforms have been studied less frequently than those along continental coasts. Here we present observations of the characteristics of deposition and scour caused by Hurricane Irma on Little Ambergris Cay, a small uninhabited island located near the southeastern edge of the Caicos platform in the Turks and Caicos Islands. Hurricane Irma passed directly over Little Ambergris Cay on September 7, 2017 as a Category 5 hurricane. We described and sampled multiple types of hurricane deposits and determined that the washover fans were the best sedimentological records for hurricane conditions, as they were subject to very little reworking over time. We compared different model predictions of storm tide and wave height with eyewitness reports and distributions of scour. Examining the washover fans allowed for the construction of a conceptual model for hurricane deposits formed in a high‐energy storm event on a carbonate platform. Characteristics of the washover fans were their small size, the lack of sedimentary structures, and very well‐sorted sediment. The size and distribution of carbonate boulders eroded and transported by the storm are consistent with depth‐averaged flow velocities in the range of 1.5‐5.3 m/s. The strength of the storm and the low‐lying topography, distinct features of a carbonate platform setting, contributed to high levels of sediment bypass and high flow velocities, resulting in small, unstructured deposits. 
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  5. null (Ed.)
    Abstract. The morphology of deltas is determined by the spatial extent and variability of the geomorphic processes that shape them. While in some cases resilient, deltas are increasingly threatened by natural and anthropogenic forces, such as sea level rise and land use change, which can drastically alter the rates and patterns of sediment transport. Quantifying process patterns can improve our predictive understanding of how different zones within delta systems will respond to future change. Available remotely sensed imagery can help, but appropriate tools are needed for pattern extraction and analysis. We present a method for extracting information about the nature and spatial extent of active geomorphic processes across deltas with 10 parameters quantifying the geometry of each of 1239 islands and the channels around them using machine learning. The method consists of a two-step unsupervised machine learning algorithm that clusters islands into spatially continuous zones based on the 10 morphological metrics extracted from remotely sensed imagery. By applying this method to the Ganges–Brahmaputra–Meghna Delta, we find that the system can be divided into six major zones. Classification results show that active fluvial island construction and bar migration processes are limited to relatively narrow zones along the main Ganges River and Brahmaputra and Meghna corridors, whereas zones in the mature upper delta plain with smaller fluvial distributary channels stand out as their own morphometric class. The classification also shows good correspondence with known gradients in the influence of tidal energy with distinct classes for islands in the backwater zone and in the purely tidally controlled region of the delta. Islands at the delta front under the mixed influence of tides, fluvial–estuarine construction, and local wave reworking have their own characteristic shape and channel configuration. The method is not able to distinguish between islands with embankments (polders) and natural islands in the nearby mangrove forest (Sundarbans), suggesting that human modifications have not yet altered the gross geometry of the islands beyond their previous “natural” morphology or that the input data (time, resolution) used in this study are preventing the identification of a human signature. These results demonstrate that machine learning and remotely sensed imagery are useful tools for identifying the spatial patterns of geomorphic processes across delta systems. 
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  6. Abstract

    Bedrock landslides shape topography and mobilize large volumes of sediment. Yet, interactions between landslide‐produced sediment and fluvial systems that together govern large‐scale landscape evolution are not well understood. To explain morphological patterns observed in steep, landslide‐prone terrain, we explicitly model stochastic landsliding and associated sediment dynamics. The model accounts for several common landscape features such as slope frequency distributions, which include values in excess of regional stability limits, quasi‐planar hillslopes decorated with straight, closely spaced channel‐like features, and accumulation of sediment in valley networks rather than on hillslopes. Stochastic landsliding strongly affects the magnitude and timing of sediment supply to the fluvial system. We show that intermittent sediment supply is ultimately reflected in topography. At dynamic equilibrium, landslide‐derived sediment pulses generate persistent landscape dynamism through the formation and breaching of landslide dams and epigenetic gorges as landslides force shifts in channel positions. Our work highlights the importance of interactions between landslides and sediment dynamics that ultimately control landscape‐scale response to environmental change.

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