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Roberts, G.; White, N. J.
Publisher: AGU
Languages: English
Types: Article
Subjects: sub-02
We describe and apply a method for estimating uplift rate his-\ud tories from longitudinal river pro¯les. Our strategy is divided into three parts.\ud First, we develop a forward model, which calculates river pro¯les from up-\ud lift rate histories. Height variation along a river pro¯le is controlled by up-\ud lift rate and moderated by the erosional process. We assume that the ero-\ud sional process can be represented by a combination of advection and di®u-\ud sion, which are parametrized using four erosional constants. Secondly, we have\ud posed and solved the geologically more interesting inverse problem: which\ud uplift rate history minimizes the mis¯t between calculated and observed river\ud pro¯les? The inverse algorithm has been tested on synthetic river pro¯les,\ud which demonstrates that uplift rate histories can be reliably retrieved. Our\ud tests show that the erosional process is dominated by advection (i.e. knick-\ud point retreat) and that changes in lithology and discharge play a secondary\ud role in determining the transient form of a river pro¯le. Finally, we have in-\ud verted river pro¯les from a series of African topographic swells, namely the\ud Bi¶e, South African, Namibian, Hoggar and Tibesti domes. Fits between cal-\ud culated and observed river pro¯les are excellent. Calculated uplift rate his-\ud tories suggest that these domes grew rapidly during the last 30{40 million\ud years. Uplift rate histories vary signi¯cantly from dome to dome but cumu-\ud lative uplift histories agree closely with independent geologic estimates.
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