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Penrose Conference Icon

Tectonics, Climate, and Landscape Evolution

Taroko National Park, Taiwan
13-17 January 2003


Sean Willett
Department of Earth and Space Sciences, University of Washington, Seattle, WA 98125, USA, (206) 543-8653, fax 206-543-0489
Niels Hovius
Department of Earth Sciences, Cambridge University, Cambridge CB2 3EQ, England, 44-1223-333453
Mark Brandon
Department of Geology and Geophysics, Yale University, P.O. Box 208109, New Haven, CT 06520-8109, USA, (203) 432-3135
Don Fisher
Department of Geosciences, Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA 16802, (814) 865-3206

Local Organizing Committee:

Lu Chai-Yu
Department of Earth Sciences, National Taiwan University, Taipei, Taiwan
Chu Hao-Tsu
Central Geological Survey, Taiwan, Republic of China
Yue-Gau Chen
Department of Earth Sciences, National Taiwan University, Taipei, Taiwan

The past decade has seen considerable interest in the coupling between tectonics, climate, surface processes, and the evolution of Earth's topography. General acceptance of the principles of the tectonic origin of topography, the increase in erosion rates with relief, and the importance of climate as a modulator between uplift and erosion has evolved into a desire for understanding of the processes, their rates, and the mechanisms of feedback implicit to these principles. This conference will examine progress made through geomorphological, geophysical, geochemical, and atmospheric studies, and will assess the current state of knowledge of the dynamic earth surface system.

Potential topics for presentation and discussion include:


The conference will be held in Taroko National Park, Taiwan. In Taiwan, active tectonism and mountain building is evidenced by 4000 m peaks, precipitation rates of several m/yr, and erosion rates as high as 5-10 mm/yr. The conference venue will be in the Taroko Gorge, a 1000 m deep gorge in the heart of Taroko National Park, providing a dramatic example of the effects of high rates of uplift, precipitation, and erosion. First-rate hotel and conference facilities are available in the national park. Two half-day field trips will be conducted during the conference to showcase the Taroko Gorge environs. Cost of the five-day conference, including room and board, is expected to be less than $850.

Potential participants should send a letter of application to one of the conveners, including a brief statement of interests and relevance of the applicant's work to the conference topic, as well as a short abstract of work to be presented at the meeting, if desired. Attendance is limited to 80 persons, although we hope to attract the participation of a broad range of earth and atmospheric scientists. Graduate students are encouraged to apply, and some funds will be available to help offset costs for students.

topOptional Field Trip

A four-day preconference field trip will be offered from January 9-12. This field trip will start in Taipei and finish at the conference site in Taroko Park, thereby crossing the modern orogenic belt from the foreland Coastal Plain to the metamorphic core. This trip will also provide an opportunity to visit surface deformation related to the 1999 magnitude 7 Chi-Chi earthquake. Cost of the field trip is expected to be less than $500.