BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- When salmon spawn, the earth moves -- not immediately, but over the course of hundreds of thousands or millions of years. That's the conclusion of a study, co-authored by an Indiana University geologist, which finds that salmon can play a significant role in shaping mountain landscapes.
Brian Yanites, an assistant professor in the Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences in the IU Bloomington College of Arts and Sciences, and his co-authors model the effect of spawning salmon on riverbed erosion and calculate how it affects mountain landscapes.
Their paper, "Sex that moves mountains: The influence of spawning fish on river profiles over geologic timescales," is being published by the journal Geomorphology.