Movie:Numerical Simulation of Southern Alps New Zealand Drainage Evolution

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Information Page: Numerical Simulation of Southern Alps New Zealand Drainage Evolution

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Key Attributes

Domain: terrestrial, hydrology
Keywords: Landscape Evolution Model
Model name: DAC
Name: Sebastien, Castelltort
Where: Southern Alps, New Zealand
When: 11 million year simulation


Short Description

Grade level: Under graduate (13-16), Graduate / Professional

Statement: Numerical Simulation of Southern Alps, New Zealand Drainage Evolution

Abstract: This movie shows a 11 million year simulation of the landscape evolution model DAC (Divide And Capture). It illustrates how drainage networks respond to tectonic deformation. This specific simulation has a velocity field with fault parallel horizontal movement combined with a perpendicular component and has an order of magnitude more precipitation on the western side than on the eastern side of the model domain.

The movie shows the evolution of a rectangular domain representing the Southern Alps of New Zealand at the Australian and Pacific plate boundary and the river basins that drain the Alps as motion along the Alpine Fault expands the domain. The color code indicates elevation with red colors for higher elevation. The Alpine Fault that bounds the Southern Alps on the northwest is located at the top of the domain, and the opposing mountain front is at the bottom of the domain. The initial configuration is of a small symmetrical mountain range next to the junction of the Alpine and Hope Faults and is drained by a well-developed drainage systemtransverse to the main divide. You can see that with the southwestward (left in the movie) expansion of the orogen, the main water divide migrates toward the Alpine Fault, the eastern basins rotate, and the western basins are constantly rearranging by area capture.

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