Orogen response to changes in climatic and tectonic forcing

Kelin Whipple, Brendan J. Meade

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

133 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Despite much progress, many questions remain regarding the potential dynamic coupling between atmospheric and lithospheric processes in the long-term evolution of mountain belts. As a complement to recent efforts to discover the interrelationships among climate, topography, erosion, and rock deformation under conditions of mass-flux steady state, we explore orogen response to changes in climate and tectonic influx. We derive an analytical model that predicts a powerful climatic control on orogen evolution and distinct, potentially diagnostic, responses to climatic and tectonic perturbations. Due to isostatic compensation, the near-surface rock uplift rate during transients is tightly coupled to climate-modulated erosional efficiency. System response is approximately exponential, with a characteristic response timescale that is inversely proportional to the climate- and lithology-modulated erosional efficiency, and is largely insensitive to initial conditions, tectonic influx, and both the sign and magnitude of perturbations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)218-228
Number of pages11
JournalEarth and Planetary Science Letters
Volume243
Issue number1-2
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 15 2006
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Tectonics
climate
tectonics
Rocks
Long Term Evolution (LTE)
Lithology
perturbation
rocks
Topography
Analytical models
Erosion
lithology
Mass transfer
mountains
complement
rock
erosion
topography
uplift
timescale

Keywords

  • Climate
  • Critical wedge
  • Erosion
  • Rock uplift
  • Tectonics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geochemistry and Petrology
  • Geophysics
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)

Cite this

Orogen response to changes in climatic and tectonic forcing. / Whipple, Kelin; Meade, Brendan J.

In: Earth and Planetary Science Letters, Vol. 243, No. 1-2, 15.03.2006, p. 218-228.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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