Fault Throw and Regional Uplift Histories from Drainage Analysis: Evolution of Southern Italy

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Authors

Jennifer Quye-Sawyer, Alexander C Whittaker, Gareth Roberts, Dylan H. Rood

Abstract

Landscapes can record elevation changes caused by multiple tectonic processes. Here we show how coeval histories of spatially coincident normal faulting and regional uplift can be deconvolved from river networks. We focus on Calabria, a tectonically active region incised by rivers containing knickpoints and knickzones. Marine fauna indicate that Calabria has been uplifted by >1 km since approximately 0.8–1.2 Ma, which we used to calibrate parameters in a stream power erosional model. To deconvolve the local and regional uplift contributions to topography, we performed a spatio-temporal inversion of 994 fluvial longitudinal profiles. Uplift rates from fluvial inversion replicate the spatial trend of rates derived from dated Mid–Late Pleistocene marine terraces, and the magnitude of predicted uplift rates matches the majority of marine terrace uplift rates. We used the predicted uplift history to analyse long-term fault throw, and combined throw estimates with ratios of footwall uplift to hanging wall subsidence to isolate the non-fault related contribution to uplift. Increases in fault throw rate—which may suggest fault linkage and growth—have been identified on two major faults from fluvial inverse modeling, and total fault throw is consistent with independent estimates. The temporal evolution of non-fault related regional uplift is similar at three locations. Our results may be consistent with toroidal mantle flow generating uplift, perhaps if faulting reduces the strength of the overriding plate. In conclusion, fluvial inverse modeling can be an effective technique to quantify fault array evolution and can deconvolve different sources of uplift that are superimposed in space and time.

DOI

https://doi.org/10.31223/X5701Z

Subjects

Earth Sciences, Geology, Geomorphology, Tectonics and Structure

Keywords

Dates

Published: 2021-01-26 06:46

Last Updated: 2021-02-24 19:15

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License

CC BY Attribution 4.0 International

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