Models of surface processes and deformation
I present a brief summary of recent advances in the field of computaţional geomorphology and various attempts to couple numerical models of landscape evolution to models of crustal/lithospheric deformation. The most commonly used formulations for the various physical processes at play during surface erosion, transport and deposition are presented, as well as an outline of how they have been incorporated in a variety of numerical schemes. I also explain how the coupling between erosion and tectonics has been performed under various simplifying assumptions. Determining the rate constants for each of the proposed landforming mechanisms remains a difficult challenge that has recently been helped by the advent of new low temperature thermochronometers and exposure dating by cosmogenic radionuclides. I demonstrate how the information contained in the relationship between age and elevation can be used to provide constraints on the ‘age’ of a landscape, as well as how important rate information can be extracted from various datasets by using simple modelling techniques. This paper demonstrates why the field of computaţional geomorphology needs to harmonizē the various parameterizations (often the legacy of empirical relationships derived from observations at the human scale), quantitative estimates of the value of the numerous rate parameters and improvement of the numerical techniques.
Figures & Tables
The crust of the Earth records the deformational processes of the inner Earth and the influence of the overlying atmosphere. The state of the Earth’s crust at any time is therefore the result of internal and external processes, which occur on different time and spatial scales. In recent years important steps forward in the understanding of such complex processes have been made by integrating theory and observations with experimental and computer models. This volume presents state-of-the-art analogue and numerical models of processes that alter the Earth’s crust. It shows the application of models in a broad range of geological problems with careful documentation of the modelling approach used. This volume contains contributions on analogue and numerical sandbox models, models of orogenic processes, models of sedimentary basins, models of surface processes and deformation, and models of faults and fluid flow.