The Meuse river system is located in the northeastern part of the Paris Basin, the Ardennes, and the Roer Valley Rift System (RVRS). The Meuse river system developed during the uplift of the Ardennes since the Eocene and it was affected by renewed rifting of the RVRS starting in the Late Oligocene. In response to the uplift of the Ardennes, the river system incised and a terrace sequence developed during the Plio-Pleistocene. The sediments generated by erosion in the catchment were transported into the RVRS and further to the north, into the Zuiderzee Basin and the North Sea Basin. Using a digital terrain model, the amount of eroded rock volume versus time for the Meuse catchment has been computed using the Paleogene and older planation surfaces and the fluvial terraces. Comparison of the amount of eroded material with the volume of sediment preserved in the RVRS for the early Middle Pleistocene shows that about 17.5% of the sediment volume transported into the RVRS remained there, the rest being transported further into the Zuiderzee Basin and the North Sea Basin. The Quaternary tectonic uplift of the Ardennes inferred from the incision history of the Meuse river system is characterized by a long-term uplift, on which a Middle Pleistocene acceleration is superimposed. The accelerated uplift is contemporaneous with an uplift event in the RVRS and in the neighbouring Eifel area, and with the onset of the youngest phase of volcanism in the Eifel area. The areal distribution of this uplift is characterized by a dome shape centered around the Eifel area. © 2000 Elsevier Science B.V.