Experimental channel response to tectonic uplift

Turowski, J. M. and Lague, D. and Crave, A. and Hovius, N. (2006) Experimental channel response to tectonic uplift. Journal of Geophysical Research-Earth Surface, 111 (F3). Art. no. F03008; doi:10.1029/2005JF000306. DOI 10.1029/2005JF000306

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Abstract

We have performed a series of experiments to investigate the relationship between channel geometry and tectonic forcing in steady state landscapes at various uplift rates. The experimental setup consists of uniformly uplifted silica paste eroded by artificial rainfall. In this setup, erosional landscapes evolve by growth and amalgamation of incisions, which organize into a drainage network whose dynamics are a function of the interaction between vertical channel cutting, hillslope erosion, and sediment transport. High-precision (0.5 mm pixel size) digital elevation models were constructed using a stereogrammetric camera system. From this data, channel bed slope was found to be independent of discharge and position on the experimental surface and to increase linearly with uplift rate. Geometric parameters of the flow, such as channel width or depth, could not be observed directly during the experiments. Using laminar flow equations for the mean flow velocity, these parameters were back calculated, and relationships to the imposed substrate uplift rate were derived. Channel width, cross-sectional area, and wetted perimeter decrease with increasing uplift rate to a limit value, hydraulic radius and flow depth increase slightly, and flow velocity increases approximately linearly with increasing uplift rate. These results are qualitatively consistent with recent field surveys and highlight the importance of channel width and slope variations in accommodating channel response to variable rock uplift rates.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: F03008
Uncontrolled Keywords: 2006 AREP IA52 2006 P
Subjects: 02 - Geodynamics, Geophysics and Tectonics
Divisions: 02 - Geodynamics, Geophysics and Tectonics
Journal or Publication Title: Journal of Geophysical Research-Earth Surface
Volume: 111
Page Range: Art. no. F03008; doi:10.1029/2005JF000306
Identification Number: 10.1029/2005JF000306
Depositing User: Sarah Humbert
Date Deposited: 16 Feb 2009 13:04
Last Modified: 23 Jul 2013 10:08
URI: http://eprints.esc.cam.ac.uk/id/eprint/759

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