CSDMS 2016 annual meeting poster BrigidLynch

Presentation provided during SEN - CSDMS annual meeting 2016

Modeling landscape evolution and climate: how erosion and precipitation are linked in active orogens (preliminary results)

Brigid Lynch, University of Idaho Moscow Idaho, United States. lync6611@vandals.uidaho.edu

CSDMS2016 poster BrigidLynch.png


The tectonic history and the climate driven erosional processes acting in a region are the primary controls on the evolution of a landscape. Quantifying these controls is essential to our understanding of uplift and erosion histories in mountain ranges. While tectonic processes are generally dependent on the location of plate boundaries, the controls on erosion are less constrained. We implement a numerical modeling approach to investigate these processes by coupling a high-resolution climate model, Weather Research and Forecasting Model (WRF), and a landscape evolution model, Landlab. The Andes act as the climatic setting for this study, due to the variation in climate along the length of the orogen, and serve as a natural laboratory to test controls on erosion. With the help of the hydrologic model WRF Hydro, we pass discharge and topography data between the models, which allows for a feedback relationship to form between topography and precipitation. We will present our preliminary model runs that result from an asynchronous model coupling approach. These results will allow us to run further experiments to test feedbacks between topography and climate by monitoring topographic metrics and erosion histories. This work provides a necessary next step in landscape evolution modeling by using an actively evolving climate to model real precipitation dynamics. This next step allows for modeling more accurate representations of precipitation and the role orography and precipitation play in changing one another.

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