Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Rainfall controls cascade mountains’ erosion and bedrock uplift patters

11.12.2003


The pattern of rainfall in the Washington Cascades strongly affects long-term erosion rates in the mountain range and may cause bedrock to be pulled up towards the Earth’s surface faster in some places than others, according to a National Science Foundation (NSF)-funded study published in this week’s issue of the journal Nature. The results are the first convincing evidence of such effects, on mountain-range scales.



"The data strongly suggest that precipitation controls erosion rates across the Cascades, and that the regional climate may also exert a strong control on the distribution and scale of tectonic rock uplift and deformation of the range," said Peter Reiners, lead author of the study and a geologist at Yale University.

"Geologists usually think of erosion wearing away mountains," says David Fountain, program director in NSF’s division of earth sciences, which funded the research. "These results, however, show us that erosion can be an important player in uplift of mountain ranges, especially in mountainous regions that receive heavy precipitation."


Using a dating method that determines when and how fast erosion brings bedrock toward the surface of the Earth, Reiners and his co-researchers found evidence to support long-standing theories about the interplay of climate, erosion and tectonics.

"People have thought the scale and pattern of rock uplift is mostly controlled by deep, plate-tectonic forces," he said. "Based on our findings, the pattern of bedrock uplift is closely tied to climate through erosion."

Rainfall is heavy in parts of the Pacific Northwest because mountains in the region cast enormous rain shadows. Moist air moving east from the Pacific rises and cools as it encounters the ranges, dumping large amounts of rain and snow on the west side of the Cascades, where it rains about 10 times more than in most places in Washington. The east sides and the summits are relatively dry.

Co-authors of the paper include Todd Ehlers of the University of Michigan and Sara Mitchell and David Montgomery of the University of Washington.

Media Contacts:
NSF: Cheryl Dybas, 703-292-7734, cdybas@nsf.gov
Yale University: Jacqueline Weaver, 203-432-8555, jacqueline.weaver@yale.edu
NSF Program Contact: David Fountain, dfountai@nsf.gov

The National Science Foundation is an independent federal agency that supports fundamental research and education across all fields of science and engineering, with an annual budget of nearly $5 billion. National Science Foundation funds reach all 50 states through grants to nearly 2,000 universities and institutions. Each year, NSF receives about 30,000 competitive requests for funding, and makes about 10,000 new funding awards. The National Science Foundation also awards over $200 million in professional and service contracts yearly.

Receive official National Science Foundation news electronically through the e-mail delivery system, NSFnews. To subscribe, send an e-mail message to join-nsfnews@lists.nsf.gov In the body of the message, type "subscribe nsfnews" and then type your name. (Ex.: "subscribe nsfnews John Smith")

Cheryl Dybas | National Science Foundation
Further information:
http://www.nsf.gov
http://www.nsf.gov/od/lpa

More articles from Earth Sciences:

nachricht Geophysicists and atmospheric scientists partner to track typhoons' seismic footprints
16.02.2018 | Princeton University

nachricht NASA finds strongest storms in weakening Tropical Cyclone Sanba
15.02.2018 | NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center

All articles from Earth Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Demonstration of a single molecule piezoelectric effect

Breakthrough provides a new concept of the design of molecular motors, sensors and electricity generators at nanoscale

Researchers from the Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry of the CAS (IOCB Prague), Institute of Physics of the CAS (IP CAS) and Palacký University...

Im Focus: Hybrid optics bring color imaging using ultrathin metalenses into focus

For photographers and scientists, lenses are lifesavers. They reflect and refract light, making possible the imaging systems that drive discovery through the microscope and preserve history through cameras.

But today's glass-based lenses are bulky and resist miniaturization. Next-generation technologies, such as ultrathin cameras or tiny microscopes, require...

Im Focus: Stem cell divisions in the adult brain seen for the first time

Scientists from the University of Zurich have succeeded for the first time in tracking individual stem cells and their neuronal progeny over months within the intact adult brain. This study sheds light on how new neurons are produced throughout life.

The generation of new nerve cells was once thought to taper off at the end of embryonic development. However, recent research has shown that the adult brain...

Im Focus: Interference as a new method for cooling quantum devices

Theoretical physicists propose to use negative interference to control heat flow in quantum devices. Study published in Physical Review Letters

Quantum computer parts are sensitive and need to be cooled to very low temperatures. Their tiny size makes them particularly susceptible to a temperature...

Im Focus: Autonomous 3D scanner supports individual manufacturing processes

Let’s say the armrest is broken in your vintage car. As things stand, you would need a lot of luck and persistence to find the right spare part. But in the world of Industrie 4.0 and production with batch sizes of one, you can simply scan the armrest and print it out. This is made possible by the first ever 3D scanner capable of working autonomously and in real time. The autonomous scanning system will be on display at the Hannover Messe Preview on February 6 and at the Hannover Messe proper from April 23 to 27, 2018 (Hall 6, Booth A30).

Part of the charm of vintage cars is that they stopped making them long ago, so it is special when you do see one out on the roads. If something breaks or...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

2nd International Conference on High Temperature Shape Memory Alloys (HTSMAs)

15.02.2018 | Event News

Aachen DC Grid Summit 2018

13.02.2018 | Event News

How Global Climate Policy Can Learn from the Energy Transition

12.02.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Fingerprints of quantum entanglement

16.02.2018 | Information Technology

'Living bandages': NUST MISIS scientists develop biocompatible anti-burn nanofibers

16.02.2018 | Health and Medicine

Hubble sees Neptune's mysterious shrinking storm

16.02.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>