Interplay between lithospheric flexure and river transport in forleand basins.

D. Garcia-Castellanos

    Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


    Foreland basins form by lithospheric flexure under orogenic loading and are filled by surface transport of sediment. This work readdresses the interplay between these processes by integrating in a 3D numerical model: the mechanisms of thrust stacking, elastic flexural subsidence and sediment transport along the drainage network. The experiments show that both crustal tectonic deformation and vertical movements related to lithospheric flexure control and organise the basin-scale drainage pattern, competing with the nonlinear, unpredictable intrinsic nature of river network evolution. Drainage pattern characteristics are predicted that match those observed in many foreland basins, such as the axial drainage, the distal location of the main river within the basin, and the formation of large, long-lasting lacustrine systems. In areas where the river network is not well developed before the formation of the basin, these lithospheric flexural effects on drainage patterns may be enhanced by the role of the forebulge uplift as drainage divide. Inversely, fluvial transport modifies the flexural vertical movements differently than simpler transport models (e.g. diffusion): Rivers can drive erosion products far from a filled basin, amplifying the erosional rebound of both orogen and basin. The evolution of the sediment budget between orogen and basin is strongly dependent on this coupling between flexure and fluvial transport: Maximum sediment accumulations on the foreland are predicted for a narrow range of lithospheric elastic thickness between 15 and 40 km, coinciding with the T
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)89-104
    JournalBasin Research
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - 2002


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