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November GEOLOGY and GSA TODAY highlights

high above trunk valley floors. These distinctive glacial signatures, seen in virtually every mountain range that has held glaciers, result from tens to hundreds of thousands of years of subglacial erosion. This glacial erosion occurs during periods of dramatic swings in climate, which drives significant advances and retreats of alpine glaciers. We use a numerical model of glacial erosion to understand how glaciers create these unique stepped and overdeepened longitudinal profiles over many glacial cycles. Persistent, high-relief bedrock steps and overdeepenings are generated in our model runs only when we incorporate tributary glaciers. The size of the step that results from glacial erosion depends strongly on both the size of the tributary and the place that it connects to the main valley. The long-term erosion pattern in these valleys mimics closely the long-term pattern of glacier occupation of the valleys.

GSA TODAY

Dynamics of plate boundary fault systems from Basin and Range Geodetic Network (BARGEN) and geologic data. Brian Wernicke et al.

This paper presents results of 2-3 years of continuous monitoring of a new 50-station network of GPS (global positioning system) stations that were installed across the northern Basin and Range Province of the western United States. This project, funded by the NSF Continental Dynamics Program, represents a significant technological advance by documenting that continuous recording of carefully installed GPS stations can provide precise measurements (with errors possibly significantly lower than 0.5 mm per year) of tectonic displacements of station sites in the Basin and Range Province relative to the stable interior of North America. The results provide a view of the velocity field of stations that can be used to understand the extensional deformation (strain) of the Basin and Range Province. Results are also evaluated to answer important questions for continental tectonics: Is the
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Contact: Ann Cairns
acairns@geosociety.org
303-447-2020 ext 156
Geological Society of America
24-Oct-2000


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