Sediment transport in the Taroko Gorge, Taiwan


Remembering my trip to Taiwan last month, I figured a lot of the sites we observed could be relevant to sedimentology. When we traveled to the Taroko Gorge, an enormous deep canyon flowing out to the eastern coast of Taiwan, there were some amazing sediments along the river. This image depicts some of the massive sediments which have been transported by extreme flooding. The extreme typhoons which hit Taiwan can result in over a meter of rainfall per day, generating incredible floods capable of moving truck sized boulders. Additionally, along the banks of the river, there are a wide range of rock types. The very rounded clasts along the banks show at least 10 different compositions and a range of colors, indicating many sources of sediment. Indeed, the extremely steep slopes and cliffs in the mountains of Taiwan, coupled with heavy rainfall and earthquakes allow for extremely rapid generation of sediments. Additionally in this image, a large sediment deposit can be observed on the inside of the curve of the river.

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