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One Million Years of Climate-Driven Rock Uplift Rate Variation on the Wasatch Fault Revealed by Fluvial Topography

Smith, Adam GG; Fox, Matthew; Moore, Jeffrey R; Miller, Scott R; Goren, Liran; Morriss, Matthew C; Carter, Andrew; (2024) One Million Years of Climate-Driven Rock Uplift Rate Variation on the Wasatch Fault Revealed by Fluvial Topography. American Journal of Science , 324 (1) 10.2475/001c.92194. Green open access

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Abstract

Displacement along the Wasatch Fault, Utah, has created the Wasatch Range. Owing to its topographic prominence, location on the eastern boundary of the Basin and Range, presently active fault slip, and proximity to Utah’s largest cities, the range and fault have garnered much attention. On the 102–103 year timescale, the behavior, displacement and seismic history of the Wasatch Fault has been well categorized in order to assess seismic hazard. On the 107 year timescale, the rock uplift rate history of the Wasatch range has also been resolved using thermochronometric data, owing to its importance in inferring the history of extension in the western US. However, little data exists that bridges the gap between these two timescales. Here, we infer an approximately 1 Ma rock uplift rate history from analysis of three river networks located in the center of the range. Our recovered rock uplift rate histories evidence periodic changes to rock uplift on the Wasatch Fault, that coincide with climate driven filling and unfilling of lakes in the Bonnneville Basin. To ensure our rock uplift rate histories are robust, we use field data and previously published cosmogenic 10Be erosion rate data to tightly constrain the erodibility parameter, and investigate an appropriate value for the slope exponent of the stream power model, n. We use our river network inversion to reconcile estimates of erodibility from a number of methodologies and show that the contrast between bedrock and bedload strength is an important factor that determines erodibility.

Type: Article
Title: One Million Years of Climate-Driven Rock Uplift Rate Variation on the Wasatch Fault Revealed by Fluvial Topography
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.2475/001c.92194
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.2475/001c.92194
Language: English
Additional information: © The Author(s), 2024. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Licence (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Maths and Physical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Maths and Physical Sciences > Dept of Earth Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS > Dept of Geography
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10187983
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