Journal cover Journal topic
Earth Surface Dynamics An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
Journal topic

Journal metrics

Journal metrics

  • IF value: 3.765 IF 3.765
  • IF 5-year value: 3.719 IF 5-year
    3.719
  • CiteScore value: 3.83 CiteScore
    3.83
  • SNIP value: 1.281 SNIP 1.281
  • IPP value: 3.61 IPP 3.61
  • SJR value: 1.527 SJR 1.527
  • Scimago H <br class='hide-on-tablet hide-on-mobile'>index value: 17 Scimago H
    index 17
  • h5-index value: 18 h5-index 18
Discussion papers
https://doi.org/10.5194/esurf-2019-41
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/esurf-2019-41
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Submitted as: research article 07 Aug 2019

Submitted as: research article | 07 Aug 2019

Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. It is a manuscript under review for the journal Earth Surface Dynamics (ESurf).

River patterns reveal landscape evolution at the edge of subduction, Marlborough Fault System, New Zealand

Alison R. Duvall1, Sarah A. Harbert1, Phaedra Upton2, Gregory E. Tucker3, Rebecca M. Flowers3, and Camille Collett1,a Alison R. Duvall et al.
  • 1Department of Earth and Space Sciences, University of Washington, Seattle, 98195, USA
  • 2GNS Science, Lower Hutt, 5040, New Zealand
  • 3Department of Geological Sciences, University of Colorado, Boulder, 90309, USA
  • anow at: Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History

Abstract. Here we examine the landscape of New Zealand's Marlborough Fault System, where the Australian and Pacific plates obliquely collide, in order to consider landscape evolution and the controls on fluvial patterns at complicated plate tectonic boundaries. Based on topographic patterns, we divide the study area into two geomorphic domains, the Kaikōura and Inland Marlborough regions. We present maps of drainage anomalies and channel steepness, as well as an analysis of the plan view orientations of rivers and faults, and find abundant evidence of structurally-controlled drainage and a history of capture and rearrangement. Channel steepness is highest in a zone centered on the Kaikōura domain, including within the low-elevation valleys of main stem rivers and at tributaries near the coast. This pattern is consistent with an increase in rock uplift rate toward a subduction front that is locked on its southern end. Based on these results and a wealth of previous geologic studies, we propose two broad stages of landscape evolution over the last 25 million years of orogenesis. In the Kaikōura domain, Miocene folding above blind thrust or reverse faults generated prominent mountain peaks and formed major transverse rivers early in the plate collision history. A transition to Pliocene dextral strike-slip faulting and widespread uplift led to cycles of river channel offset, deflection and capture of tributaries draining across active faults, and headward erosion and captures by major transverse rivers within the Inland Marlborough domain. Despite clear evidence of recent rearrangement of the Inland Marlborough drainage network, rivers in this domain still flow parallel to the older faults, rather than along orthogonal traces of younger, active faults. Continued flow in the established drainage pattern may indicate that younger faults are not yet mature enough to generate the damage and weakening needed to reorient rivers. We conclude that faulting, uplift, river capture and drainage network entrenchment all dictate drainage patterns and that each factor should be considered when assessing tectonic strain from landscapes, particularly at long-lived and complex tectonic boundaries.

Alison R. Duvall et al.
Interactive discussion
Status: open (until 18 Sep 2019)
Status: open (until 18 Sep 2019)
AC: Author comment | RC: Referee comment | SC: Short comment | EC: Editor comment
[Subscribe to comment alert] Printer-friendly Version - Printer-friendly version Supplement - Supplement
Alison R. Duvall et al.
Alison R. Duvall et al.
Viewed  
Total article views: 263 (including HTML, PDF, and XML)
HTML PDF XML Total BibTeX EndNote
186 75 2 263 1 1
  • HTML: 186
  • PDF: 75
  • XML: 2
  • Total: 263
  • BibTeX: 1
  • EndNote: 1
Views and downloads (calculated since 07 Aug 2019)
Cumulative views and downloads (calculated since 07 Aug 2019)
Viewed (geographical distribution)  
Total article views: 203 (including HTML, PDF, and XML) Thereof 201 with geography defined and 2 with unknown origin.
Country # Views %
  • 1
1
 
 
 
 
Cited  
Saved  
No saved metrics found.
Discussed  
No discussed metrics found.
Latest update: 21 Aug 2019
Publications Copernicus
Download
Short summary
In this study, we examine river patterns and the evolution of the landscape within the Marlborough Fault System, South Island, New Zealand, where the Australian and Pacific tectonic plates collide. We find that faulting, uplift, river capture and the long-lived nature of the drainage network all dictate river patterns at this site. Based on these results and a wealth of previous geologic studies, we propose two broad stages of landscape evolution over the last 25 million years of orogenesis.
In this study, we examine river patterns and the evolution of the landscape within the...
Citation