How much does the erosion and sedimentation at the Earth’s surface influence on the patterns and distribution of tectonic deformation? This question has been mainly addressed from a computer modelling perspective, at scales ranging from local to orogenic. In the PLOS ONE paper published today, we present a model that aims at understanding this phenomenon at the continental scale, looking at the feedbacks between continental enlargement and climate aridification during the collision of continents.
higher than 400 mm/yr (red shading). Note the
contours of crustal thickening rate due to tectonics.
|Note that the southern continent (the indenter, India)|
is chosen fixed to our reference frame, whereas
the northern continent (Asia) is moving southwards).
The initial topography is flat with small random noise
forming a network of lakes. The tectonic indenter in
the southern boundary represents India, while a rigid
block fixed around x=2500km represents the Tarim Basin.
Wind blowing from SE at 7 m/s (relative humidity=1).
Red shading indicates orographic precipitation.
The continental deformation adopts a thin-sheet tectonic
model. + info here.