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Dr. Mikaël Attal

Dr. Mikaël Attal

Professor of Geomorphology @ the School of GeoSciences


Please contact me if you want a copy of any of these papers. * Denotes student author.

• *Pokhrel, P., Attal, M., Sinclair, H.D., Mudd, S.M., and Naylor, M. Downstream rounding rate of pebbles in the Himalaya. Earth Surface Dynamics, 12, 515–536,, 2024. Link. Also: Link to original open discussion in EGUsphere.

• *Graf, E.L.S., Sinclair, H.D., Attal, M., Gailleton, B., Adhikari, B.R., and Baral, B.R. Geomorphological and hydrological controls on sediment export in earthquake-affected catchments in the Nepal Himalaya. Earth Surface Dynamics,, 2024. Link.


• *Thapa, S., Sinclair, H.D., Creed, M.J., Mudd, S.M., Attal, M., Borthwick, A.G.L, Ghimire, B.N., and Watson, C.S. The impact of sediment flux and calibre on flood risk in the Kathmandu Valley, Nepal. Earth Surface Processes and Landforms,, 2023Link.

• *Domingo, J.P.T., Ngwenya, B.T., Attal, M., David, C.P.C., and Mudd, S.M. Geochemical fingerprinting to determine sediment source contribution and improve contamination assessment in mining-impacted floodplains in the Philippines. Applied Geochemistry,, 2023. Link.

• Godard, V., Attal, M., Dey, S., Lupker, M., and Thiede, R.C. Eroding the Himalaya: processes, evolution, implications. In: Cattin, R., and Epard, J.-L., eds., “Himalaya, dynamics of a giant 3”, 29-54, ISTE and Wiley-Blackwell, 312 pp, ISBN : 9781789451313, 2023Link.

• *Quick, L., Creed, M.J., Sinclair, H.D., Attal, M., Borthwick, A.G.L, and Sinha, R. Hyperconcentrated floods cause extreme gravel transport through the sandy rivers of the Gangetic Plains. Communications Earth & Environment, 4, 297,, 2023Link.

• *Hoskins, A.M., Attal, M., Mudd, S.M., and Castillo M. Topographic Response to Horizontal Advection in Normal Fault-Bound Mountain Ranges. Journal of Geophysical Research – Earth Surface,, 2023. Link.


• Yan, L., Attal, M., Mudd, S.M., Zhang, K., and Tian, Y. Drivers of landscape evolution in eastern Tibet. Geomorphology,, 2022. Link.


• *Domingo, J.P.T., Attal, M., Mudd, S.M., Ngwenya, B.T., and David, C.P.C. Seasonal fluxes and sediment routing in tropical catchments affected by nickel mining. Earth Surface Processes and Landforms,, 2021. Link.

• *Harries, R.M., Gailleton, B., Kirstein, L.A., and Attal, M. Impact of climate on landscape form, sediment transfer, and the sedimentary record. Earth Surface Processes and Landforms,, 2021. Link.


• *Dingle, E.H., Creed, M.J., Sinclair, H.D., Gautam, D., Gourmelen, N., Borthwick, A.G.L., and Attal, M. Dynamic flood topographies in the Terai region of Nepal. Earth Surface Processes and Landforms, DOI: 10.1002/esp.4953, 2020. Link.

• *Dingle, E.H., Sinclair, H.D., Venditti, J.G., Attal, M., Kinnaird, T.C., Creed, M., Quick, L., Nittrouer, J.A., and Gautam, D. Sediment dynamics across gravel-sand transitions: Implications for river stability and floodplain recycling. Geology, doi:, 2020. Link.

• *Fieman, D.M., Attal, M., and Addy S. Geomorphic response of a mountain gravel-bed river to an extreme flood in Aberdeenshire, Scotland. Scottish Journal of Geology,, 2020. Link.

• *Quick, L., Sinclair, H.D., Attal, M., and Singh, V. Conglomerate recycling in the Himalayan foreland basin: Implications for grain size and provenance. Geological Society of America Bulletin, doi:, 2020Link.


• *Harries, R.M., Kirstein, L.A., Whittaker, A.C., Attal, M., and Main, I. Impact of recycling and lateral sediment input on grain size fining trends—Implications for reconstructing tectonic and climate forcings in ancient sedimentary systems. Basin Research,, 2019Link.

• *Strong, C.M., Attal, M., Mudd, S.M., and Sinclair, H.D. Lithological control on the geomorphic evolution of the Shillong Plateau in Northeast India. Geomorphology, 330, 133-150,, 2019Link.


• *Lavarini, C., Attal., M., da Costa Filho, C.A., and Kirstein, L.A. Does pebble abrasion influence detrital age population statistics? A numerical investigation of natural datasets. Journal of Geophysical Research, 123, 2577-2601,, 2018Link.

• *Harries, R.M., Kirstein, L.A., Whittaker, A.C., Attal, M., Peralta, S., and Brooke, S. Evidence for self-similar bedload transport on Andean alluvial fans, Iglesia basin, south Central Argentina. Journal of Geophysical Research, 123, 2292-2315,, 2018Link.

• Marrero, S.M., Hein, A.S., Naylor, M., Attal, M., Shanks, R., Winter, K., Woodward, J., Dunning, S., Westoby, M., and Sugden, D. Controls on subaerial erosion rates in Antarctica. Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 501, 56-66,, 2018Link.

• *Baynes, E.R.C., Lague, D., Attal, M., Gangloff, A., Kirstein, L.A., and Dugmore, A.J. River self-organisation inhibits discharge control on waterfall migration. Nature Scientific Reports, 8, 2444, doi:10.1038/s41598-018-20767-6, 2018Link.

• *Dingle, E.H., Sinclair, H.D., Attal, M., Rodes, A., and Singh, V. Temporal variability in detrital 10Be concentrations in large Himalayan catchments. Earth Surface Dynamics, 6, 611-635,, 2018Link. —– To access the open discussion pre-publication:


• *Dingle, E.H., Attal, M., and Sinclair, H.D. Abrasion-set limits on Himalayan gravel flux. Nature, 544, 471–474, doi:10.1038/nature22039, 2017Link.

• Practical Action – Univ. Edinburgh. Improving understanding of flooding and resilience in the Terai, Nepal. Policy Brief presenting the outcomes of our work supported by the UK Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF) and Natural Environment Research Council (NERC), including grants NE/P015905/1 and NE/N01300X/1, 2017Link.

• Temme, A.J.A.M., Armitage, J., Attal, M., van Gorp, W., Coulthard, T.J., and Schoorl, J.M. Developing, choosing and using landscape evolution models to inform field-based landscape reconstruction studies. Earth Surface Processes and Landforms, doi: 10.1002/esp.4162, 2017Link.

• Attal, M. Linkage between sediment transport and supply in mountain rivers. In: Tsutsumi, D., and Laronne, J.B., eds., “Gravel-Bed Rivers, Processes and Disasters”, 329-353, Wiley-Blackwell, 832 pp, 2017Link. PDF AVAILABLE ON REQUEST. Unformatted text and Figures. PPT with figures: Part 1 and Part 2. The talks from the Gravel-Bed Rivers conference in Japan have been recorded and can be seen there: GBR8 talks (my talk is in session 7, starting at ~30 minutes).


• *Clubb, F.J., Mudd, S.M., Attal, M., Milodowski, D.T., and Grieve, S.W.D. The relationship between drainage density, erosion rate, and hilltop curvature: implications for sediment transport processes. Journal of Geophysical Research, 121, doi: 10.1002/2015JF003747, 2016Link.

• *Dingle, E.H., Sinclair, H.D., Attal, M., Milodowski, D.T., and Singh, V. Subsidence control on river morphology and grain size in the Ganga Plain. American Journal of Science, 316 (8), 778-812, doi: 10.2475/08.2016.03, 2016Link.

• Harel, M.-A., Mudd, S.M., and Attal, M. Global analysis of the stream power law parameters based on worldwide 10Be denudation rates. Geomorphology, doi: 10.1016/j.geomorph.2016.05.035, 2016Link.


• *Baynes, E.R.C., Attal, M., Dugmore, A.J., Kirstein, L.A., and Whaler, K.A. Catastrophic impact of extreme flood events on the morphology and evolution of the lower Jökulsá á Fjöllum (northeast Iceland) during the Holocene. Geomorphology, 250, 422-436,, 2015Link.

• Whitbread, K., Jansen, J., Bishop, P., and Attal, M. Substrate, sediment, and slope controls on bedrock channel geometry in postglacial streams. Journal of Geophysical Research, 120, doi:10.1002/2014JF003295, 2015Link.

• Attal, M., Mudd, S.M., Hurst, M.D., Weinman, B., Yoo, K., and Naylor. M. Impact of change in erosion rate and landscape steepness on hillslope and fluvial sediments grain size in the Feather River Basin (Sierra Nevada, California). Earth Surface Dynamics, 3, 201-222, doi:10.5194/esurf-3-201-2015, 2015Link.

• *Baynes, E.R.C., Attal, M., Niedermann, S., Kirstein, L.A., Dugmore, A.J., and Naylor, M. Erosion during extreme flood events dominates Holocene canyon evolution in North-East Iceland. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 112, 8, 2355-2360, doi: 10.1073/pnas.1415443112, 2015Link. —– Paper highlighted in a series of media outlets: BBC Herald ScotlandPhys.orgScience DailyEarth MagazineThe Weather Channel (with a very nice video!), and a series of creationist websites such as Creation Evolution :-). Ed also had a very nice interview about his project on Radio New Zealand National: Podcast.


• Mudd, S.M., Attal, M., Milodowski, D.T., Grieve, S.W.D., and Valters, D.A. A statistical framework to quantify spatial variation in channel gradients using the integral method of channel profile analysis. Journal of Geophysical Research, 119, 1–15, doi:10.1002/2013JF002981, 2014Link.


• *Hurst, M. D., Mudd, S. M., Attal, M., and Hilley, G. Hillslopes record the growth and decay of landscapes. Science, 341, 868-871, doi:10.1126/science.1241791, 2013Link.

• *Hurst, M. D., Mudd, S. M., Yoo, K., Attal, M., and Walcott, R. Influence of lithology on hillslope morphology and response to tectonic forcing in the northern Sierra Nevada of California. Journal of Geophysical Research, 118, 1–20, doi:10.1002/jgrf.20049, 2013Link.

• *Bekaddour, T., Schlunegger, F., Attal, M., Norton, K. P. Lateral sediment sources and knickzones as controls on spatio-temporal variations of sediment transport in an Alpine river. Sedimentology, 60, 342–357, doi:10.1111/sed.12009, 2013Link.


• *Hurst, M. D., Mudd, S. M., Walcott, R., Attal, M., and Yoo, K. Using hilltop curvature to derive the spatial distribution of erosion rates. Journal of Geophysical Research, 117, F02017, doi:10.1029/2011JF002057, 2012Link.


• Yoo, K., Weinman, B., Mudd, S.M., Hurst, M.D., Attal, M., and Maher, K. Evolution of hillslope soils: The geomorphic theater and the geochemical play. Applied Geochemistry, 26, 149–153, doi:10.1016/j.apgeochem.2011.03.054, 2011Link.

• Attal, M., Cowie, P.A., Whittaker, A.C., Hobley, D.E.J., Tucker G.E., and Roberts, G.P. Testing fluvial erosion models using the transient response of bedrock rivers to tectonic forcing in the Apennines, Italy. Journal of Geophysical Research, 116, F02005, doi:10.1029/2010JF001875, 2011Link.


• Whittaker, A.C., Attal, M., and Allen, P.A. Characterizing the origin, nature and fate of sediment exported from catchments perturbed by active tectonics. Basin Research, 22, 809–828, doi:10.1111/j.1365-2117.2009.00447.x, 2010Link.


• Attal, M., and Lavé, J. Pebble abrasion during fluvial transport: experimental results and implications for the evolution of the sediment load along rivers. Journal of Geophysical Research, 114, F04023, doi:10.1029/2009JF001328, 2009Link.

• Attal, M. Rivers split as mountains grow. Nature Geoscience – News and views, 2, 747-748, doi:10.1038/ngeo675, 2009Link.


• Cowie, P.A., Whittaker, A.C., Attal, M., Roberts, G.P., Tucker G.E., and Ganas, A. New constraints on sediment-flux-dependent river incision: Implications for extracting tectonic signals from river profiles. Geology, 36 (7), 535-538, doi:10.1130/G24681A.1, 2008Link. —– Paper highlighted in Nature Geoscience, 1, 492, 2008Link.

• Attal, M., Tucker, G.E., Whittaker, A.C., Cowie, P.A., and Roberts, G.P. Modeling fluvial incision and transient landscape evolution: influence of dynamic channel adjustment. Journal of Geophysical Research, 113, F03013, doi:10.1029/2007JF000893, 2008Link.

• Whittaker, A.C., Attal, M., Cowie, P.A., Tucker, G.E., and Roberts, G.P. Decoding temporal and spatial patterns of fault uplift using transient river long-profiles. Geomorphology, 100, 506–526, doi:10.1016/j.geomorph.2008.01.018, 2008Link.


• Whittaker, A.C., Cowie, P.A., Attal, M., Tucker, G.E., and Roberts, G.P. Contrasting transient and steady-state rivers crossing active normal faults: new field observations from the Central Apennines, Italy. Basin Research, 19, 529–556, doi:10.1111/j.1365-2117.2007.00337.x, 2007Link.

• Garzanti, E., Vezzoli, G., Andò, S., Lavé, J., Attal, M., France-Lanord, C., and DeCelles, P. Quantifying sand provenance and erosion (Marsyandi River, Nepal Himalaya). Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 258 (3-4), 500-515, 2007Link.

• Whittaker, A.C., Cowie, P.A., Attal, M., Tucker, G.E., and Roberts, G.P. Bedrock channel adjustment to tectonic forcing: Implications for predicting river incision rates. Geology, 35 (2), 103-106, 2007Link.


• Cowie, P.A., Attal, M., Tucker, G.E., Whittaker, A.C., Naylor, M., Ganas, A., and Roberts, G.P. Investigating the surface process response to fault interaction and linkage using a numerical modeling approach. Basin Research, 18 (3), 231-266, 2006Link.

• Attal, M., Lavé, J., and Masson, J.-P. New facility to study river abrasion processes. Journal of Hydraulic Engineering, 132 (6), 624-628, 2006Link.

• Attal, M., and Lavé, J. Changes of bedload characteristics along the Marsyandi River (Central Nepal): implications for understanding hillslope sediment supply, sediment load evolution along fluvial networks and denudation in active orogenic belts. In: Willett, S.D., Hovius, N., Brandon, M.T., and Fisher, D., eds., “Tectonics, Climate and Landscape Evolution”, Geological Society of America Special Paper 398, 143-171, doi:10.1130/2006.2398(09), 2006Link.


• Lavé, J., Yule, D., Sapkota, S., Basant, K., Madden, C., Attal, M., and Pandey, R. Evidence for a great medieval earthquake (~1100 A.D.) in the Central Himalayas, Nepal. Science, 307, 1302-1305, 2005Link.


• Delteil, J., Stéphan, J.-F., and Attal, M. Control of Permian and Triassic faults on Alpine basement deformation in the Argentera massif (external southern French Alps). Bulletin de la Société Géologique de France, 174 (5), 481- 498, 2003Link.


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