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Quantifying active deformation within the Southwestern Foothills of Taiwan, from incised fluvial terraces and sedimentary data

Abstract : The Taiwan mountain range stands as one of the most active regions on Earth. With an overall shortening rate of ~40 mm/yr and an average erosion rate of ~4 mm/yr, this mountain range appears ideal to better understand the interactions between tectonics and surface processes, and how these shape active landscapes. Here we explore the geomorphic and sedimentary record of active deformation within the Southwestern Foothills of Taiwan, and we quantify from there the kinematics of active faults. In particular, we investigate the downstream portion of the meandering Tsengwen river - one of the largest rivers of this region - where we identify and correlate remnants of 7 terrace levels, progressively abandoned over the last ~5 kyr. The incision of these terraces is interpreted as being controlled to the first-order by folding and uplift related to underlying active faults. The evolution of the river is reconstructed from correlated terrace remnants, and our results indicate that the overall river sinuosity and gradient did not vary significantly during the past ~5 kyr in response to tectonics. Incremental tectonic uplift is retrieved from terrace incision corrected for sedimentation at the mountain front, and is used to derive the incremental shortening since terrace abandonment. Downstream, within the Coastal Plain, the Tsengwen river reaches its base level and aggrades. Sedimentary facies within boreholes of the Coastal Plain record vertical displacements relative to sea level, spatially consistent with potential blind active faults. When corrected for eustatic variations, these data allow for quantifying tectonic uplift rates within the Coastal Plain over the last ~20 kyr. Taken altogether, our quantitative analysis of the Tsengwen river record, from terrace incision to dowsntream aggradation, reveals that the most frontal active faults absorb a shortening rate of at least ~35 mm/yr, that is most of - if not all - the shortening rate to the absorbed across the whole mountain range.
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Conference papers
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https://hal-insu.archives-ouvertes.fr/insu-02539717
Contributor : Isabelle Dubigeon <>
Submitted on : Friday, April 10, 2020 - 12:13:29 PM
Last modification on : Saturday, October 3, 2020 - 3:28:23 AM

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  • HAL Id : insu-02539717, version 1

Citation

Philippe Steer, Valentine Lefils, Martine Simoes, J. Bruce H. Shyu, Lionel Siame. Quantifying active deformation within the Southwestern Foothills of Taiwan, from incised fluvial terraces and sedimentary data. European Geosciences Union General Assembly, Apr 2020, online, Austria. pp.EGU2020-5237. ⟨insu-02539717⟩

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