The influence of piedmont deposition on the time scale of mountain-belt denudation

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

10 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The linear correlation between modem sediment yields and mean drainage-basin elevation suggests that mountain-belt topography is denuded exponentially with a time scale of approximately 50 Myr following the cessation of active uplift. Some Paleozoic orogens, however, still exist as high-elevation terrain. Here I explore this paradox within the broader question of what variables control the denudational time scales of mountain belts. Using a two-dimensional model that couples the stream-power law for bedrock channel erosion with the diffusion equation for alluvial piedmonts, I determined the time scale of mountain-belt denudation using numerical and analytic techniques. The piedmont plays an important role in mountain-belt denudation because it sets the base level for bedrock erosion, substantially reducing bedrock relief in mountain belts with broad or steep piedmonts. The persistence of the Appalachian and Ural Mountains may be understood within the model framework as largely the result of resistant bedrock and a broad piedmont, respectively.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
Volume31
Issue number15
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 16 2004

Fingerprint

denudation
piedmont
mountains
bedrock
timescale
mountain
piedmonts
erosion
Appalachian Mountains (North America)
modems
paradoxes
sediment yield
drainage
two dimensional models
drainage basin
topography
sediments
power law
relief
persistence

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)

Cite this

The influence of piedmont deposition on the time scale of mountain-belt denudation. / Pelletier, Jon.

In: Geophysical Research Letters, Vol. 31, No. 15, 16.08.2004.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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