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Spatial correlation between long-term exhumation rates and present-day forcing parameters in the western European Alps.

Abstract : The relative intensity of tectonic and climatic forcing in the western European Alps has been a matter of debate since the recognition of a signifi cant increase in denudation rates over the past few million years. We address this question by quantitatively correlating the spatial pattern of long-term exhumation rates with those of potential short-term tectonic, climatic, and morphologic variables. We fi nd that present-day rock-uplift rates (as measured by geodesy relative to a specifi c reference point) and mean elevation are correlated with long-term exhumation rates, whereas relief, present-day precipitation, discharge, stream power, and released seismic energy are not, or are only weakly, correlated. We attribute the lack of correlation between long-term exhumation and precipitation to a strong temporal variability in climate and erosional processes during Pliocene–Pleistocene time. The correlations among present-day rock-uplift rates, present-day elevations, and long-term exhumation rates suggest that rockuplift rates have been sustained for millions of years, consistent with rock-uplift rates being the isostatic response to crustal unloading. The lack of a correlation of the released seismic energy with either rock uplift or long-term exhumation denies active tectonics supporting evidence.
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https://hal-insu.archives-ouvertes.fr/insu-00411865
Contributor : Pascale Talour <>
Submitted on : Monday, August 31, 2009 - 9:15:43 AM
Last modification on : Wednesday, October 14, 2020 - 3:56:35 AM

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Antoine Vernon, Peter van der Beek, H. Sinclair. Spatial correlation between long-term exhumation rates and present-day forcing parameters in the western European Alps.. Geology, Geological Society of America, 2009, 37 (9), pp.859-862. ⟨10.1130/G25740A.1⟩. ⟨insu-00411865⟩

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