Cenozoic Epeirogeny of Arabian Peninsula from Drainage Modeling

Wilson, J. W. P. and Roberts, G. G. and Hoggard, M. J. and White, N. J. (2014) Cenozoic Epeirogeny of Arabian Peninsula from Drainage Modeling. Geochemistry Geophysics Geosystems, 15 (10). pp. 3723-3761. ISSN 1525-2027 DOI https://doi.org/10.1002/2014GC005283

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It is generally accepted that the Arabian Peninsula has been uplifted by subcrustal processes. Positive residual depth anomalies from oceanic crust in the Red Sea and in the Gulf of Aden suggest that a region surrounding this peninsula is dynamically supported. Admittance calculations, surface wave tomography studies, and receiver function analyses all imply that regional topography is generated and maintained by some combination of mantle convective circulation and lithospheric thickness changes. Despite these significant advances, the spatial and temporal uplift rate history of the Arabian Peninsula is not well known. Here we show that a regional uplift rate history can be obtained by jointly inverting 225 longitudinal river profiles that drain this peninsula. Our strategy assumes that shapes of individual river profiles are controlled by uplift rate history and moderated by erosional processes. We used local measurements of incision rate to calibrate the relevant erosional parameters. In our inverse algorithm, uplift rate is permitted to vary smoothly as a function of space and time but upstream drainage area remains invariant. We also assume that knickzone migration is not lithologically controlled. Implications of these important assumptions have been investigated. Our results suggest that the Arabian Peninsula underwent two phases of asymmetric uplift during the last 20–30 Ma at rates of 0.05–0.1 mm a−1. The southwestern flank of the peninsula has been uplifted by 1.5–2.5 km. Regional stratigraphic constraints, the age and composition of volcanism, paleosol formation, incised peneplains, emergent marine terraces, and thermochronometric measurements corroborate our calculated patterns of uplift. Progressive development of three domal swells along the western margin of the peninsula is consistent with localized upwelling of hot asthenospheric mantle.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: 2014AREP; IA68;
Subjects: 02 - Geodynamics, Geophysics and Tectonics
Divisions: 02 - Geodynamics, Geophysics and Tectonics
08 - Green Open Access
Journal or Publication Title: Geochemistry Geophysics Geosystems
Volume: 15
Page Range: pp. 3723-3761
Identification Number: https://doi.org/10.1002/2014GC005283
Depositing User: Sarah Humbert
Date Deposited: 21 Aug 2014 09:16
Last Modified: 09 Apr 2015 09:44
URI: http://eprints.esc.cam.ac.uk/id/eprint/3089

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