University of Cambridge > Talks.cam > Department of Earth Sciences Seminars (downtown) > Characterising geomorphic responses to tectonic perturbation: Insights and implications.

Characterising geomorphic responses to tectonic perturbation: Insights and implications.

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Understanding the transient dynamics of the Earth’s landscape in response to tectonic forcing remains an outstanding challenge in the field of geomorphology. In principle, it should give insight into long term fluvial erosion processes, is vital in order to characterise the sensitivity of landscape to changing boundary conditions, and is essential if we are to improve our ability to extract tectonic information from topographic data sets. Here we present detailed data from rivers crossing active normal faults that differ in their rate, history and spatial distribution of uplift. These data allow diagnostic field criteria for transience in the landscape to be defined, enable the quantification of landscape response time as a function of dominant fluvial erosion law and provide improved constraints for landscape evolution models. We use these results to evaluate the extent to which it is now possible to extract tectonic uplift rates from transient landscapes.

This talk is part of the Department of Earth Sciences Seminars (downtown) series.

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