Drainage network geometry versus tectonics in the Argentera Massif (French-Italian Alps)

Adriano Ribohni, Matteo Spagnolo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

29 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The Argentera Massif (French-Italian Alps), with its uniform lithology, was selected to evaluate how known Plio-Pleistocene tectonics have conditioned the drainage network geometry. The drainage network was automatically derived and ordered from a 10 m-resolution DEM. On hillshade images, alignments of morphological features were identified. The Massif was subdivided into 22 domains of 50 km(2) within which the directions of every river channel segment and the direction of the aligned morphological features were compared and contrasted with the strike of tectonic structures measured in the field. Results suggest that the Argentera drainage system is variously controlled by recent tectonics, depending on the Massif sector taken into account. In the NW sector, the vertical uplift is less because the strain has been accommodated in an oblique direction along a lateral thrust. In the SE sector, strain in a predominantly vertical direction along a frontal thrust has resulted in a major vertical displacement. Accordingly, the NW sector is characterized by (i) a strong geometric relationship between the main tectonic structures and the directions of river channels, (ii) longitudinal main rivers bordering the Massif, and (iii) a general trellis pattern within the domains.

In the SE sector, the prolonged uplift has forced an original longitudinal drainage system to develop as a transverse system. This change has occurred by means of fluvial captures that have been identified by the presence of windgaps, fluvial elbows and knickpoints. At the domain scale, intense uplift of the SE sector has prompted the drainage pattern to evolve as a dendritic type with no clear influence of structure in the channel orientations. (c) 2007 Elsevier B.V All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)253-266
Number of pages14
JournalGeomorphology
Volume93
Issue number3-4
Early online date6 Mar 2007
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 15 Jan 2008

Keywords

  • drainage network pattern
  • channel orientation
  • tectonic geomorphology
  • remote sensing
  • Argentera Massif
  • Western Alps
  • active fault
  • structural evolution
  • lateral propagation
  • Alpine tectonics
  • crustal strain
  • river profiles
  • fold growth
  • New-Zealand
  • patterns

Cite this

Drainage network geometry versus tectonics in the Argentera Massif (French-Italian Alps). / Ribohni, Adriano; Spagnolo, Matteo.

In: Geomorphology, Vol. 93, No. 3-4, 15.01.2008, p. 253-266.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

@article{d749190f455f499c9dd45511336076ab,
title = "Drainage network geometry versus tectonics in the Argentera Massif (French-Italian Alps)",
abstract = "The Argentera Massif (French-Italian Alps), with its uniform lithology, was selected to evaluate how known Plio-Pleistocene tectonics have conditioned the drainage network geometry. The drainage network was automatically derived and ordered from a 10 m-resolution DEM. On hillshade images, alignments of morphological features were identified. The Massif was subdivided into 22 domains of 50 km(2) within which the directions of every river channel segment and the direction of the aligned morphological features were compared and contrasted with the strike of tectonic structures measured in the field. Results suggest that the Argentera drainage system is variously controlled by recent tectonics, depending on the Massif sector taken into account. In the NW sector, the vertical uplift is less because the strain has been accommodated in an oblique direction along a lateral thrust. In the SE sector, strain in a predominantly vertical direction along a frontal thrust has resulted in a major vertical displacement. Accordingly, the NW sector is characterized by (i) a strong geometric relationship between the main tectonic structures and the directions of river channels, (ii) longitudinal main rivers bordering the Massif, and (iii) a general trellis pattern within the domains.In the SE sector, the prolonged uplift has forced an original longitudinal drainage system to develop as a transverse system. This change has occurred by means of fluvial captures that have been identified by the presence of windgaps, fluvial elbows and knickpoints. At the domain scale, intense uplift of the SE sector has prompted the drainage pattern to evolve as a dendritic type with no clear influence of structure in the channel orientations. (c) 2007 Elsevier B.V All rights reserved.",
keywords = "drainage network pattern, channel orientation, tectonic geomorphology, remote sensing, Argentera Massif, Western Alps, active fault, structural evolution, lateral propagation, Alpine tectonics, crustal strain, river profiles, fold growth, New-Zealand, patterns",
author = "Adriano Ribohni and Matteo Spagnolo",
year = "2008",
month = "1",
day = "15",
doi = "10.1016/j.geomorph.2007.02.016",
language = "English",
volume = "93",
pages = "253--266",
journal = "Geomorphology",
issn = "0169-555X",
publisher = "ELSEVIER SCIENCE BV",
number = "3-4",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Drainage network geometry versus tectonics in the Argentera Massif (French-Italian Alps)

AU - Ribohni, Adriano

AU - Spagnolo, Matteo

PY - 2008/1/15

Y1 - 2008/1/15

N2 - The Argentera Massif (French-Italian Alps), with its uniform lithology, was selected to evaluate how known Plio-Pleistocene tectonics have conditioned the drainage network geometry. The drainage network was automatically derived and ordered from a 10 m-resolution DEM. On hillshade images, alignments of morphological features were identified. The Massif was subdivided into 22 domains of 50 km(2) within which the directions of every river channel segment and the direction of the aligned morphological features were compared and contrasted with the strike of tectonic structures measured in the field. Results suggest that the Argentera drainage system is variously controlled by recent tectonics, depending on the Massif sector taken into account. In the NW sector, the vertical uplift is less because the strain has been accommodated in an oblique direction along a lateral thrust. In the SE sector, strain in a predominantly vertical direction along a frontal thrust has resulted in a major vertical displacement. Accordingly, the NW sector is characterized by (i) a strong geometric relationship between the main tectonic structures and the directions of river channels, (ii) longitudinal main rivers bordering the Massif, and (iii) a general trellis pattern within the domains.In the SE sector, the prolonged uplift has forced an original longitudinal drainage system to develop as a transverse system. This change has occurred by means of fluvial captures that have been identified by the presence of windgaps, fluvial elbows and knickpoints. At the domain scale, intense uplift of the SE sector has prompted the drainage pattern to evolve as a dendritic type with no clear influence of structure in the channel orientations. (c) 2007 Elsevier B.V All rights reserved.

AB - The Argentera Massif (French-Italian Alps), with its uniform lithology, was selected to evaluate how known Plio-Pleistocene tectonics have conditioned the drainage network geometry. The drainage network was automatically derived and ordered from a 10 m-resolution DEM. On hillshade images, alignments of morphological features were identified. The Massif was subdivided into 22 domains of 50 km(2) within which the directions of every river channel segment and the direction of the aligned morphological features were compared and contrasted with the strike of tectonic structures measured in the field. Results suggest that the Argentera drainage system is variously controlled by recent tectonics, depending on the Massif sector taken into account. In the NW sector, the vertical uplift is less because the strain has been accommodated in an oblique direction along a lateral thrust. In the SE sector, strain in a predominantly vertical direction along a frontal thrust has resulted in a major vertical displacement. Accordingly, the NW sector is characterized by (i) a strong geometric relationship between the main tectonic structures and the directions of river channels, (ii) longitudinal main rivers bordering the Massif, and (iii) a general trellis pattern within the domains.In the SE sector, the prolonged uplift has forced an original longitudinal drainage system to develop as a transverse system. This change has occurred by means of fluvial captures that have been identified by the presence of windgaps, fluvial elbows and knickpoints. At the domain scale, intense uplift of the SE sector has prompted the drainage pattern to evolve as a dendritic type with no clear influence of structure in the channel orientations. (c) 2007 Elsevier B.V All rights reserved.

KW - drainage network pattern

KW - channel orientation

KW - tectonic geomorphology

KW - remote sensing

KW - Argentera Massif

KW - Western Alps

KW - active fault

KW - structural evolution

KW - lateral propagation

KW - Alpine tectonics

KW - crustal strain

KW - river profiles

KW - fold growth

KW - New-Zealand

KW - patterns

U2 - 10.1016/j.geomorph.2007.02.016

DO - 10.1016/j.geomorph.2007.02.016

M3 - Article

VL - 93

SP - 253

EP - 266

JO - Geomorphology

JF - Geomorphology

SN - 0169-555X

IS - 3-4

ER -