Abstract

We evaluate spatial and temporal variations in denudation of the north-central Wasatch Mountains, Utah, by determining catchment-wide denudation rates with 10Be concentrations in alluvial sediment and comparing these rates with previously published data on rock uplift and exhumation of the range. Catchments draining the range front show relatively little variation in denudation rate (0.07–0.17 mm/yr), while steeper (mean hillslope gradient >30°) catchments in the core of the range show larger variation (0.17–0.79 mm/yr). We attribute the larger spatial variation in catchment-wide denudation in the core of the range to landsliding of hillslopes at threshold gradients; faster denudation in this region may signify landscape adjustment to late Pleistocene glaciations. The mean denudation rate for all catchments (0.2 mm/yr) is generally consistent with longer-term exhumation rates derived from thermochronometers and with shorter-term vertical fault displacement rates, suggesting that denudation of the north-central Wasatch has been roughly steady, or decreasing slightly, over the past 5 m.y. Although 10Be-based catchment-wide denudation rates are sensitive to localized geomorphic processes and events, overall, they appear to reflect the larger tectonic forces that have driven denudation of the Wasatch Mountains over longer time scales.

You do not currently have access to this article.