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Tectonic-climatic interactions in arid orogen-basin systems

Arid climate within some orogens such as the Zagros Mountains is a phenomenon that modifies the balance between the tectonic processes that generate topography and the erosion/transport processes that remove it. Sediment trapping in intramountain basins can modify the evolution of tectonic deformation. Inversely, it is well known that arid climate results from the topographic blockage of incoming humid wind into the orogen (orographic precipitation).

In this project we aim at investigating the mechanisms involved in this feedback between climate and tectonics by means of numerical modelling techniques constrained with multidisciplinary observations, mostly collected from our own work and existing publications.

We will perform a combined numerical modeling of the processes controlling the evolution of intramountain basins and the mechanisms by which these basins become exorheic and are drained and eroded out of the orogen. We will address geological escenarios where numerous recent data on tectonics and sedimentation have been collected and where an effort in the large-scale tectonosedimentary evolution has already been done. Suitable systems are the Zagros-Persian Basin system; the Carpathian-Pannonian Basin system, and the Cenozoic intramountain basins of Iberia.

The main outcomes expected are a new method for estimating erodibility from overtopping basins and a better understanding of the processes controlling the evolution of topography during orogenesis and their relative importance.


Jiménez-Munt, I.; Fernàndez, M.; Saura, E.; Vergés, J.; Garcia-Castellanos, D. 3-D lithospheric structure and regional/residual Bouguer anomalies in the Arabia-Eurasia collision (Iran). Geophysical Journal International.


  • Funding

    Project Financed by PNIDI-CGL - CGL2011-26670