Photo of the Apennine Mountains in Italy.
Photo of the Apennine Mountains in Italy. Credit: Giorgio Galeotti, (CC BY 4.0)
Editors’ Highlights are summaries of recent papers by AGU’s journal editors.
Source: Tectonics

The Earth’s surface evolves in response to tectonics and contains information about the geodynamic processes that have shaped it. However, linking geomorphology and topography with crustal processes remains challenging because high-resolution data is required and lithological, climatic, and surface processes variations can strongly modulate this relationship.

Lanari et al. [2023] evaluate whether the observed along-strike variations in topography, exhumation, and tectonic deformation are linked to crustal and subduction dynamics. To do so, they combine new geomorphological analyses with large, compiled data sets of cooling ages from low temperature thermochronology, drainage divide reconstructions, and Moho depth estimates.

The authors find that along the Apennines, topography and exhumation reflect variations in the geometry of the crust and the Moho. Their data indicate that along the range there are distinct segments characterized by different geodynamic processes at depth, which explain the symmetric (in the Central-Southern Apennines) and asymmetric (in the Northern Apennines) patterns of exhumation and topography.

This paper highlights the potential of combining data from geomorphology and geodynamics to learn more about orogenic evolution and the interaction between surface, crustal, and mantle processes.

Citation: Lanari, R., Reitano, R., Faccenna, C., Agostinetti, N. P., & Ballato, P. (2023). Surface and crustal response to deep subduction dynamics: Insight from the Apennines, Italy. Tectonics, 42, e2022TC007461.

—Duna Roda-Boluda, Associate Editor, Tectonics

Text © 2023. The authors. CC BY-NC-ND 3.0
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