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High elevation of low-relief surfaces in mountain belts: does it equate to post-orogenic surface uplift?

Authors

  • Julien Babault,

    1. Géosciences Rennes, Université de Rennes 1, UMR CNRS 6118, Campus de Beaulieu, 35042 Rennes cedex, France
    2. Present address: Departament de Geologia, Área de Geodinàmica Interna, Campus de la Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, 08193 Bellaterra (Cerdanyola del Vallès), Spain
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  • Stéphane Bonnet,

    1. Géosciences Rennes, Université de Rennes 1, UMR CNRS 6118, Campus de Beaulieu, 35042 Rennes cedex, France
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  • Jean Van Den Driessche,

    1. Géosciences Rennes, Université de Rennes 1, UMR CNRS 6118, Campus de Beaulieu, 35042 Rennes cedex, France
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  • Alain Crave

    1. Géosciences Rennes, Université de Rennes 1, UMR CNRS 6118, Campus de Beaulieu, 35042 Rennes cedex, France
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Julien Babault, Departament de Geologia, Área de Geodinàmica Interna, Campus de la Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, 08193 Bellaterra (Cerdanyola del Vallès), Spain. Tel.: +34 935 811 035; fax: +34 935 811 263; e-mail: Julien.Babault@uab.es

Abstract

We present experiments of upraising and relaxing topographies showing that peneplanation can occur above the ultimate base level (sea level). After active uplift, the erosion of a topography bounded by a piedmont generates a final smooth and highly elevated topography. Smoothing at high elevation is even possible during active uplift if the evolution of topography is disrupted by the deposition of the products of erosion on its piedmont which is the case at the transition from underfilled to overfilled conditions in foreland basins.

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