Inverting longitudinal profiles of rivers to constrain the history of tectonic rock uplift rate: Application to the Inyo Mountains in western Basin and Range, CA. Conference Paper uri icon


  • One of the major controls over the evolution of landscapes is the rate of tectonic rock uplift. A growing body of evidence shows that temporal changes in the tectonic rock uplift rate generate spatial variations in river steepness and upstream migrating knickzones. A well- established mathematical formulation, the detachment-limited stream power law, relates the history of rock uplift rate to the space and time derivatives of river long profiles. However, the inverse problem of inferring the history of rock uplift rate from the longitudinal profiles of fluvial channels has only recently become a subject of investigation, despite its unique potential to constrain past and present tectonic uplift rate directly from digital topographic data. The detachment-limited stream power law relates the change of channel elevation through time to tectonic rock uplift rate and to erosion rate. The erosion rate is described …

publication date

  • April 1, 2013