Geomorphic constraints on the active tectonics of southern Taiwan

Ramsey, L. A. and Walker, R. T. and Jackson, J. A. (2007) Geomorphic constraints on the active tectonics of southern Taiwan. Geophysical Journal International, 170. pp. 1357-1372. DOI

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Taiwan is a region of rapid active tectonics, yet the study of the tectonic processes that shape the interior of the island is difficult due to the high rates of erosion and dense vegetation. We use digital topography to look for indications of active deformation preserved in the local geomorphology. In particular, anomalies in the regional pattern of drainage are used to infer zones of enhanced tectonic activity. The apparent anticlockwise rotation of major river systems in plan view indicates the presence of a diffuse zone of left-lateral shear running down the southeastern side of Taiwan. Asymmetries in the catchments of individual drainage basins show the influence of varying rates of uplift across southern Taiwan, with the most rapid uplift close to Taitung at the indentation point of the Luzon arc with the Chinese continental margin. Our interpretations, though based predominantly on remote-sensing observations, are consistent with the available field evidence. This study demonstrates the usefulness of drainage basins as tectonic markers in the quantification of regional strain and uplift, which may have wider applicability in other deforming parts of the world.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: 2007 AREP IA53 IA54 2007 P
Subjects: 02 - Geodynamics, Geophysics and Tectonics
Divisions: 02 - Geodynamics, Geophysics and Tectonics
Journal or Publication Title: Geophysical Journal International
Volume: 170
Page Range: pp. 1357-1372
Identification Number:
Depositing User: Sarah Humbert
Date Deposited: 16 Feb 2009 13:03
Last Modified: 23 Jul 2013 10:08

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