25. Waterfall Erosion

Dr Edwin Baynes

The Earth’s surface is constantly changing, with erosion and deposition acting to drive the long- and short-term evolution of landscapes.

The size and shape of our mountainous regions is controlled by the erosion of rivers, especially by the upstream migration of waterfalls and the action of sediment transport. Despite being common features in the mountains, and often popular global tourist destinations, our understanding of the physical processes that control erosion at waterfalls is still relatively poor.

My research aims to improve this understanding, allowing us to build a more comprehensive idea of how landscapes will respond to changes in climate or extreme events (earthquakes, floods) in the future. I use field surveys to identify waterfall characteristics and combine these with the nature of sediment transport (the ‘tools for erosion’) to quantify the details of this erosive phenomenon.

More about Edwin's research

Read one of Edwin’s papers on the impact of sediment on mountain river morphology in New Zealand