Theme A- Orogenic plateaus and plateau margins
Orogenic plateaus and their margins are integral parts of modern mountain ranges and offer unique opportunities to study feedbacks between tectonics and climate at the Earth’s surface. Complex interactions among a wide range of parameters may lead to rapid shifts in surface elevation and the growth, recycling, and destruction of lithosphere. These controlling factors, which include crustal deformation and basin growth, surface uplift and atmospheric circulation, precipitation and erosion, landscape and biological change, result in lateral plateau growth and its characteristic morpho-climatic domains: humid, high-relief margins that contrast with (semi-)arid, low-relief plateau interiors.
Theme B- Bridging records of tectonic and climatic forcings on the evolution of Central Asia: from Paleozoic origins to Cenozoic aridification
Central Asia witnessed profound changes in tectonic and climatic environments over its geologic past: Paleozoic to Mesozoic closures of deep oceans and the amalgamation of major tectonic blocks laying the groundwork for Cenozoic fault reactivations since the India/Asia collision. The Cenozoic rise of intracontinental mountain ranges such as the Tianshan was accompanied by the retreat of Paratethys and the onset of intracontinental aridification. Major efforts bridging tectonic, geomorphic and climatic records are underway to understand i) the tectonic origins of Central Asia and how these control its present-day landscape, ii) individual responses to climatic and tectonic forcings, and their contribution to erosion and sediment deposition patterns, iii) long-term interactions between climatic change and tectonic activity, iv) and the role of topographic barriers, inland seas and global climate change in shaping regional climate and the aridification of the continental interior.
The two primary goals of this session are: 1) creating a discussion forum on the complex interactions and feedbacks among climatic, surficial, and geodynamic processes that challenge the notion of comprehensive mechanisms for the formation of orogenic plateaus and their margins, as well as for the evolution of Central Asia since the Paleozoic; and 2) encouraging future collaborations that not only overcome spatio-temporal scales but also bridge observations across disciplines leading to a more holistic view of landscape evolution from an integrative tectonic, climatic and geomorphic perspective.
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