Three-dimensional control of alluvial fans by rock uplift in an extensional regime: Aydin Range, Aegean extensional province

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Ozpolat E., Yıldırım C., Görüm T., Gosse J. C., ŞAHİNER E., Sarıkaya M. A., ...More

SCIENTIFIC REPORTS, vol.12, no.1, 2022 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 12 Issue: 1
  • Publication Date: 2022
  • Doi Number: 10.1038/s41598-022-19795-0
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, Academic Search Premier, BIOSIS, CAB Abstracts, Chemical Abstracts Core, EMBASE, MEDLINE, Veterinary Science Database, Directory of Open Access Journals
  • Istanbul Technical University Affiliated: Yes


Tectonics imparts a first-order control on the overall morphology of alluvial fan systems in extensional settings by influencing sediment flux and accommodation space, while other factors such as climate, catchment lithology, and fault footwall characteristics are secondary. Previous alluvial fan modeling studies have focused on the link between the three-dimensional development of alluvial fans and rock uplift, however, despite the potential influence of tectonics on the overall three-dimensional morphology of alluvial fans, the controlling mechanisms, as well as their relative importance, remain largely unquantified in a natural setting with a targeted source-to-sink approach. Here, we examine 45 alluvial fans and their catchments along the southern mountain front of the Aydin Range, delimited by segmented normal faults in the western Anatolia Extensional Province, to quantify the role of rock uplift. We quantify river incision rates and catchment-wide erosion rates together with a series of topographic analyses across the southern flank of the Aydin Range as a proxy for rock uplift. Our results indicate that the spatial distribution of thicker and steeper alluvial fans fit well with higher rock uplift rates along the strike of the mountain front. In contrast, a lower uplift rate is responsible for prograding alluvial fans with decreasing thickness and gradients. Also, our data shows that alluvial fan thickness compared to other alluvial fan metrics strongly associated with the pattern of the rock uplift. This study demonstrates a field-based, quantitative linkage between three-dimensional alluvial fan morphology and rock uplift which has significant implications for improving alluvial fan models and understanding how alluvial fans respond to tectonics in extensional regions.