After the development of past projects focused on the tectonic and thermal processes tha generated the Atlas mountains in the interior of the African plate, this proposal aims to investigate the timing and the recent geodynamic evolution of the region, by studying surface processes and landforms in relation with recent tectonic activity and climate change during plio-quaternary times. We intend to study, from a gemetric and chronologic point of view, the remnants of erosion surfaces within the ranges, the drainage patterns, the sediment transfer and the fluvial/alluvial terraces. Quantification of the surface processes will be helped by surface exposure dating (cosmogenic nuclides, optically-activated luminiscence, detrital fission-track analysis), aiming to obtain deformation rates, rates of erosion and fluvial incision, rates of sedimentary accretion, and if possible, uplift rates. The 3D isostatic state of the Atlas system will be evaluated (crustal amd mantle isostasy), aiming to isolate the effect of the isostatic rebound associated to erosion and to identify areas out of equilibrium, whose topography may obey to dynamic states. Hard data concernig rates of landscape change in response to well-constrained tectonics are generally lacking. With this project we pretend to combine our previously acquired knowledge with new data to quantify the interactions between surface and deep earth processes in intracontinental settings, an objective that is currently within the hot trends in Earth Science research.
|Effective start/end date||1/10/06 → 30/09/09|