Interplay between dynamic topography and flexure along the U.S. Atlantic passive margin: Insights from landscape evolution modeling

Robert Moucha, Gregory A. Ruetenik

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Abstract

Global backwards-in time models of mantle convection have resulted in vastly different interpretations of the transient state of dynamic topography on the U.S. Atlantic passive margin (Moucha et al., 2008; Spasojević et al., 2008; Rowley et al., 2013; Rovere et al., 2015). However, reconciling these geodynamic models with the observed offshore sedimentary record directly is complex because the sedimentary record integrates changes in climate, sea level, lithology, and tectonics. To circumvent this, we instead focus on modeling the observed deformation of the Orangeburg scarp, a well-documented 3.5 million year old mid-Pliocene shoreline (e.g. Rovere et al., 2015). Herein, we present results from a new landscape evolution model and demonstrate that flexural effects along this margin are comparable to changes in dynamic topography (Rowley et al., 2013) and are required to fully explain deformation of the Orangeburg scarp. Moreover, using the Orangeburg scarp as a datum subject to glacial isostatic adjustment, we demonstrate that a 15m mid-Pliocene sea level above present-day is most consistent with interspersed coastal plain sediment and surface deformation derived from mantle convection and flexural-isostasy.

LanguageEnglish (US)
Pages72-78
Number of pages7
JournalGlobal and Planetary Change
Volume149
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 1 2017

Fingerprint

landscape evolution
flexure
passive margin
topography
modeling
mantle convection
Pliocene
sea level
isostasy
coastal plain
geodynamics
shoreline
lithology
tectonics
climate
sediment
effect

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oceanography
  • Global and Planetary Change

Cite this

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title = "Interplay between dynamic topography and flexure along the U.S. Atlantic passive margin: Insights from landscape evolution modeling",
abstract = "Global backwards-in time models of mantle convection have resulted in vastly different interpretations of the transient state of dynamic topography on the U.S. Atlantic passive margin (Moucha et al., 2008; Spasojević et al., 2008; Rowley et al., 2013; Rovere et al., 2015). However, reconciling these geodynamic models with the observed offshore sedimentary record directly is complex because the sedimentary record integrates changes in climate, sea level, lithology, and tectonics. To circumvent this, we instead focus on modeling the observed deformation of the Orangeburg scarp, a well-documented 3.5 million year old mid-Pliocene shoreline (e.g. Rovere et al., 2015). Herein, we present results from a new landscape evolution model and demonstrate that flexural effects along this margin are comparable to changes in dynamic topography (Rowley et al., 2013) and are required to fully explain deformation of the Orangeburg scarp. Moreover, using the Orangeburg scarp as a datum subject to glacial isostatic adjustment, we demonstrate that a 15m mid-Pliocene sea level above present-day is most consistent with interspersed coastal plain sediment and surface deformation derived from mantle convection and flexural-isostasy.",
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