Impact of erosion, sedimentation, and structural heritage on the structure and kinematics of orogenic wedges: Analog models and case studies
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Interaction between surface and tectonic processes plays a key role in the structural evolution, kinematics, and exhumation of rocks in orogenic wedges. The deformation patterns observed in analog models show that strain partitioning has a strong impact on the vertical component of displacement of tectonic units, which in return favors erosion in domains of important uplift. Partitioning is controlled by tectonic processes and by climate-dependent surface processes, including erosion and sedimentation. The effects of partitioning include localization of deformed domains, exhumation above areas of deep underplating, and steady-state maintenance of wedges for long time periods. Simple models illustrate well how the morphostructural evolution of mountain belts is determined by these complex interactions.
Manuscript received 16 March 2009; accepted 21 September 2009