04 Nov 2022
04 Nov 2022
Status: this preprint is open for discussion.

Stream laws in tectonic landscape analogue models

Riccardo Reitano1, Romano Clementucci1, Ethan Mark Conrad2, Fabio Corbi3, Riccardo Lanari4, Claudio Faccenna1,5, and Chiara Bazzucchi1 Riccardo Reitano et al.
  • 1Department of Science, University of Rome “Roma TRE”, Laboratory of Experimental Tectonics, Rome, Italy
  • 2Department of Geological Sciences, Jackson School of Geosciences, The University of Texas at Austin, Austin, TX, USA
  • 3National Research Council - CNR, Istituto di Geologia Ambientale e Geoingegneria, Italy
  • 4Department of Earth Science, University of Florence, Florence, Italy
  • 5Lithosphere Dynamics, Helmholtz Centre Potsdam, German Research Centre for Geosciences (GFZ), Potsdam, Germany

Abstract. The interplay between tectonics and surface processes defines the evolution of mountain belts. However, correlating these processes through the evolution of natural orogens represents a scientific challenge. Analogue models can be used for analyzing and interpreting the effect of such interaction. We use nine analog models characterized by different combinations of imposed regional slope and rainfall rates to investigate how a small scale orogen evolves in response to tectonics and surface processes. We show how the combination of these parameters control the development of drainage networks and erosional processes. We quantify the different morphological expression of analogue landscapes in terms of a proposed Ae number that accounts for both observables and boundary conditions. We find few differences between analogue models and natural prototypes, in terms of parametrization of the detachment-limited stream power law. We observe a threshold in the development of channelization, modulated by a tradeoff between applied boundary conditions.

Riccardo Reitano et al.

Status: open (until 28 Dec 2022)

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Riccardo Reitano et al.

Data sets

Raw data (pictures, DEMs, .mat files) about analogue landscapes evolution Reitano, Riccardo; Clementucci, Romano; Conrad, Ethan M.; Corbi, Fabio; Lanari, Riccardo; Faccenna, Claudio; Bazzucchi, Chiara

Riccardo Reitano et al.


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Short summary
Tectonics and surface processes work together in shaping orogens through their evolution. Laboratory models are used to overcome some limitations of direct observations, since they allow for continuous and detailed analysis of analogue orogens. We use a rectangular box filled with an analog material made of granular materials to study how erosional laws apply and how erosion affects the analogue landscape as a function of the applied boundary conditions (regional slope and rainfall rate).