1932

Abstract

Abstract

Erosion of orogenic mountain ranges exhumes deeply buried rocks and controls weathering, climate, and sediment production and transport at a variety of scales. Erosion also affects the topographic form and kinematics of orogens, and it may provide dynamic feedbacks between climate and tectonics by spatially focused erosion and rock uplift. Thermochronology measures the timing and rates at which rocks approach the surface and cool as a result of exhumation. Relatively well-understood noble gas and fission-track thermochronometric systems have closure temperatures ranging from ∼60 to ∼550°C, making them sensitive to exhumation through crustal depths of about one to tens of kilometers. Thus, thermochronology can constrain erosion rates and their spatial-temporal variations on timescales of ∼105–107 years, commensurate with orogenic growth and decay cycles and possible climate-tectonic feedback response times. Useful methods for estimating erosion rates include inverting ages for erosion rates using crustal thermal models, vertical transects, and detrital approaches. Spatial-temporal patterns of thermochronometrically determined erosion rates help constrain flow of material through orogenic wedges, orogenic growth and decay cycles, paleorelief, and relationships with structural, geomorphic, or climatic features.

[Erratum, Closure]

An erratum has been published for this article:
USING THERMOCHRONOLOGY TO UNDERSTAND OROGENIC EROSION
Loading

Article metrics loading...

/content/journals/10.1146/annurev.earth.34.031405.125202
2006-05-30
2024-06-23
Loading full text...

Full text loading...

/content/journals/10.1146/annurev.earth.34.031405.125202
Loading
/content/journals/10.1146/annurev.earth.34.031405.125202
Loading

Data & Media loading...

  • Article Type: Review Article
This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was a Success
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error