2023 CSDMS meeting-025
Comparing numerical simulations and field studies of strike-slip faults from the hyper-arid Atacama Desert to Tararua Mountains, New Zealand.
Tamara Aranguiz, (she/ella),University of Washington Seattle Washington, United States. firstname.lastname@example.org
Alison Duvall, University of Washington Seattle Washington, United States. email@example.com
Field-based observations and numerical models of strike-slip faults indicate that the regional footprint and preservation of the landscape response depends on fault slip rates, climatic conditions, and surface erosional activity. Arid desert environments, on one end of the climate spectrum, are especially sensitive to climate changes and tend to provide an excellent record of fault-slip histories and landscape modification in response to faulting. For example, the Salar Grande strike-slip fault slips at slow to moderate rates (~1 mm/yr) across the Atacama Desert of Chile and is characterized by long periods of hyper aridity with the absence of fluvial activity, but still preserves dextral offset geomarkers evidencing past humid periods and faulting. Conversely, wet environments are intensively affected by constant fluvial erosion and mass wasting. For example, in Aotearoa New Zealand, complex systems of parallel right-lateral faults in the Tararua Mountains, North Island, interact with each other with neighboring rivers flowing across and along fault branches that slip at different rates (< 1 mm/yr to > 10 mm/yr) and juxtapose different scale high-relief topography (shutter ridges). Inspired by the complexities of these real-world contrasting strike-slip fault settings, we create analog numerical simulations in Landlab to observe the role of climate variability, sediment, and the interaction between multiple structures affecting the topography. Model results are compared with field observations, focusing on channels, ridges, and mountain range scale observations.