Gulf of Papua - uniform erodibility coefficient

Software Used:

  • Badlands 1.0

This model simulates the Late Quaternary landscape evolution of the Gulf of Papua, examining source-to-sink sediment transfer assuming a uniform erodibility coefficient. The simulation includes the surface uplift and subsidence history of the Gulf and uses present day precipitation rates. The simulation shows sediment delivered to the Gulf of Papua primarily by the Fly, Kikori and Purari Rivers and deposited in the western deep-sea basin, with shorter rivers draining the Papuan Peninsula contributing to sedimentation in the eastern Gulf. Sea level rise over the past 16 Kyr prevents the rivers draining the mainland from depositing directly into the deep-sea, with sediment becoming trapped on the submerged continental shelf.

Model Setup:

The initial setup approximates the paleotopography by subtracting the vertical movement field from the present day topography. The Lambeck et al. (2014) sea level curve is applied to the simulation for the past 35 kyr. A) The present day topography, B) the magnitude of surface uplift and subsidence over the past 35 kyr, C) the paleotopography at 35 Ka and D) present day precipitation rates.


Uniform erodibility coefficient and diffprop values.


Sediment accumulation in the marine environment for A) the start of the simulation at 35 Ka, B) the end of Marine Isotope Stage 3 (MIS3), C) the end of MIS2 and D) present day.