Local erosion rates versus active tectonics: cosmic ray exposure modelling in Provence (south-east France)

Abstract : Over the past decade, in situ-produced cosmogenic nuclides have revolutionised the study of landscape evolution. In particular, numerous studies have demonstrated that, in active tectonic settings, cosmic ray exposure dating of deformed or displaced geomorphic features makes it possible to quantify long-term deformation rates. In western European countries, erosion due to climatically driven processes and human activities is probably the factor that most limits the accuracy of exposure ages and landscape modification rates. In this study, we present the results of a depth-profiling technique applied to alluvial terraces located along the Rhône and the Moyenne Durance rivers. The expected decrease with depth of the measured 10Be concentrations has been modelled using a χ2 inversion method in order to constrain the exposure history of the alluvial sediments. The results suggest that: (1) over the Quaternary, the local surface erosion rates including both regional uplift and climatically driven processes acting on landforms are on the order of 30 m/Myr in southeastern France, and (2) providing a fairly good bracketing of the exposure age, the modelled abandonment age of alluvial terraces affected by the Moyenne Durance Fault allows estimating incision rates, comparing the alluvial terrace elevations with topographic river profiles, and a minimum vertical slip rate value of roughly 0.02 mm/yr for the southern segment of the Moyenne Durance Fault.
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Lionel Siame, Olivier Bellier, Régis Braucher, Michel Sébrier, Marc Cushing, et al.. Local erosion rates versus active tectonics: cosmic ray exposure modelling in Provence (south-east France). Earth and Planetary Science Letters, Elsevier, 2004, 220 (3-4), pp.345-364. ⟨10.1016/S0012-821X(04)00061-5⟩. ⟨hal-01457872⟩

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