CTSP: Coupling of Tectonic and Surface Processes

Coupling geodynamics and surface processes

Phaedra Upton

GNS Science, New Zealand

The landscape serves as a nexus between the solid Earth with its geodynamic processes and the atmosphere. At many spatial and temporal scales landscape morphology and topography provide a constraint on the tectonics of the deeper Earth and the processes active or previously active within it. In order to unravel these, we need to understand the complex relationships between surface processes, their drivers and the Earth materials on which they act.
In my talk, I will explore recent developments in modelling surface processes within a single deformational framework. I will focus on collisional settings such as New Zealand’s Southern Alps, SE Alaska and the Himalaya where rapid uplift combines with vigorous climate regimes to create dynamic landscapes. Topics will include:
  • Exploring the complete stress tensor (tectonic, dynamic, topography, fluvial, glacial)
  • Rock strength controls on topography and erosion rates
  • Failure Earth Response Model
  • Smooth particle hydrodynamics and its application to landscape evolution modelling

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Of interest for:
  • Terrestrial Working Group
  • Geodynamics Focus Research Group