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    Links between climate, erosion, uplift, and topography during intracontinental mountain building of the Hangay Dome, Mongolia

    West, A.J. and Fox, M. and Walker, R.T. and Carter, Andrew and Harris, T. and Watts, A.B. and Gantulga, B. (2013) Links between climate, erosion, uplift, and topography during intracontinental mountain building of the Hangay Dome, Mongolia. Geochemistry Geophysics Geosystems 14 (12), pp. 5171-5193. ISSN 1525-2027.

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    The Hangay mountain range, a dome in central Mongolia, provides a window into understanding how climate influences the erosion and resulting geomorphic and sedimentary signatures of continental topography. Specifically, asymmetric erosion of the Hangay, associated with a distinct orographic precipitation gradient, offers a natural experiment for exploring uplift, erosion, and the isostatic response to erosional unloading. The flat-topped Hangay peaks preserve low-relief remnant surfaces that provide markers of rock uplift. This makes it possible to map the deformation of a former planar surface during doming and hence to estimate the total extent of erosion by the difference from present day topography. Erosion into the Hangay surface has been significant but incomplete; the morphology of the range indicates a nonequilibrium landscape that may have persisted for millions to tens of millions of years, implying a long response time in this semiarid climate. The extent of erosion across the range correlates with mean annual precipitation. Variability in present-day peak heights across the north-south climatic and erosional gradient provides empirical support for the generally accepted theory that climate-driven erosion will increase the height of mountain peaks by generating greater surface uplift through isostasy. Correction for this isostatic response makes it possible to reconstruct primary surface uplift of the Hangay. Results highlight the importance of considering the interplay between climate, erosion, and uplift in shaping intracontinental topography and thus when interpreting the geomorphic, sedimentary, and geodynamic signatures associated with such topography.


    Item Type: Article
    Keyword(s) / Subject(s): topography, erosion, incision, climate, epeirogenic, intracontinental, dynamic, Mongolia
    School: School of Science > Earth and Planetary Sciences > UCL/Birkbeck Centre for Planetary Sciences
    Depositing User: Administrator
    Date Deposited: 06 Jan 2014 15:20
    Last Modified: 11 Oct 2016 11:55


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