Paper No. 304-8
Presentation Time: 3:55 PM
INFLUENCE OF STRIKE-SLIP FAULT ACTIVITY ON THE TOPOGRAPHIC EVOLUTION OF THE EASTERN ALPS
We present results of a numerical model that is used to investigate aspects of the landscape evolution of the Eastern European Alps in the Miocene. The model allows the consideration of strike-slip faulting - an inherent feature of the Miocene tectonics in the Eastern Alps - within a viscous medium. Mechanical deformation of this medium is coupled with a landscape evolution model to describe surface processes like valley incision. For the input variables, the activity history of strike-slip faulting in the Eastern Alps is compiled from literature sources. The results present a major improvement in the predicted topographic history over earlier models in terms of the location and build-up of valleys and mountain ranges that form in response to the strike-slip faulting activity. Intra-montane basins that are a typical feature of the Miocene evolution of the Eastern Alps are predicted and a Tauern Window uplift evolves dynamically in the simulations, related to well-known east-west striking strike-slip faults in the region. Overall, the model under-predicts the mean elevation of the Eastern Alps by some 300 m, which is interpreted in terms of an independent, deep rooted event of the last 5 Ma, that has been inferred previously from other field data.