Upstream controls on evolution of dryland alluvial megafans: Quaternary examples from the Kohrud Mountain Range, central Iran
Nasser Arzani, Stuart J. Jones, 2018. "Upstream controls on evolution of dryland alluvial megafans: Quaternary examples from the Kohrud Mountain Range, central Iran", Geology and Geomorphology of Alluvial and Fluvial Fans: Terrestrial and Planetary Perspectives, D. Ventra, L. E. Clarke
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The relative importance of tectonics, climate, base level and source lithology as the primary controls on the evolution of alluvial fans is highly debated. This study examines the role of upstream catchment characteristics on the evolution of alluvial megafans by examining three Quaternary fans (the Kalahrud, Zefreh and Mughar fans) along the flanks of the Kohrud Mountain Range in central Iran. These fans formed in a tectonically active basin under arid to semi-arid climatic conditions. The key differences between the evolutionary trends of these fans are that their catchments are underlain by different bedrock types and they have different catchment shapes and outlet characteristics. The catchment of the Kalahrud fan is in a sedimentary terrain with limited sediment supply, whereas the bedrock lithologies of the Zefreh and Mughar fans are fractured and weathered igneous rocks. However, the evolution of the Mughar fan is also controlled by the tilting of the catchment towards a wide apex and lateral shifting in the catchment outlet/fan feeder channel position. These variables resulted in relatively large-scale incision in the Kalahrud and Mughar fans that is absent in the aggradational trend of the Zefreh fan. Upstream lithological and structural controls are the dominant drivers behind the development and evolution of alluvial megafans.
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Alluvial and fluvial fans are the most widespread depositional landform bordering the margins of highland regions and actively subsiding continental basins, across a broad spectrum of tectonic and climatic settings. They are significant to the local morphodynamics of mountain regions and also to the evolution of sediment-routing systems, affecting the propagation and preservation of stratigraphic signals of environmental change over vast areas.
The volume presents case studies discussing the geology and geomorphology of alluvial and fluvial fans from both active systems and ancient ones preserved in the stratigraphic record. It brings together case studies from a range of continents, climatic and tectonic settings, some introducing innovative monitoring and analysis techniques, and it provides an overview of current debates in the field.
This volume will be of particular interest to geologists, geomorphologists, sedimentologists and the general reader with an interest in Earth science.