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Relief Evolution in Tectonically Active Mountain RangesThe overall aims of this 3-yr project, as originally proposed were to: (1) investigate quantitatively the roles of fluvial and glacial erosion in the evolution of relief in mountainous regions, and (2) test rigorously the quality and accuracy of SRTM topographic data in areas of rugged relief - both the most challenging and of greatest interest to geomorphic, neotectonic, and hazards applications. Natural laboratories in both the western US and the Southern Alps of New Zealand were identified as most promising. The project has been both successful and productive, despite the fact that no SRTM data for our primary field sites in New Zealand were released on the time frame of the work effort. Given the delayed release of SRTM data, we pursued the scientific questions of the roles of fluvial and, especially, glacial erosion in the evolution of relief in mountainous regions using available digital elevation models (DEMs) for the Southern Alps of New Zealand (available at both 25m and 50m pixel sizes), and USGS 10m and 30m DEMs within the Western US. As emphasized in the original proposal, we chose the emphasis on the role of glacial modification of topographic relief because there has been little quantitative investigation of glacial erosion processes at landscape scale. This is particularly surprising considering the dramatic sculpting of most mid- and high-latitude mountain ranges, the prodigious quantities of glacially-derived sediment in terrestrial and marine basins, and the current cross-disciplinary interest in the role of denudational processes in orogenesis and the evolution of topography in general. Moreover, the evolution of glaciated landscapes is not only a fundamental problem in geomorphology in its own right, but also is at the heart of the debate over Late Cenozoic linkages between climate and tectonics.
Document ID
20040070832
Document Type
Other
Authors
Whipple, Kelin X. (Massachusetts Inst. of Tech. Cambridge, MA, United States)
Date Acquired
August 21, 2013
Publication Date
May 14, 2004
Subject Category
Geophysics
Funding Number(s)
CONTRACT_GRANT: NAG5-10389
CONTRACT_GRANT: SENH99-0209-0172
Distribution Limits
Public
Copyright
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.
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