The French Massif Central is a part of the Hercynian orogenic belt that currently exhibits anomalously high topography. The Alpine orogenesis, which deeply marked Western European topography, involved only marginally the Massif Central, where Cenozoic faulting and short-wavelength crustal deformation is limited to the Oligocene rifting. For this reason the French Massif Central is a key site to study short- and long-term topographic response in a framework of slow tectonic activity. In particular the origin of the Massif Central topography is a topical issue still debated, where the role of mantle upwelling is invoked by different authors. Here we present a landscape analysis using denudation rates derived from basin-averaged cosmogenic nuclide concentrations coupled with longitudinal river profile analysis. This analysis allows us to recognize that the topography of the French Massif Central is not fully equilibrated with the present base level and in transient state.Our data highlight the coexistence of out-of-equilibrium river profiles, incised valleys, and low cosmogenically derived denudation rates ranging between 40 mm/kyr and 80 mm/kyr. Addressing this apparent inconsistency requires investigating the parameters that may govern erosion processes under conditions of reduced active tectonics. The spatial distribution of denudation rates coupled with topography analysis enabled us to trace the signal of the long-term uplift history and to propose a chronology for the uplift evolution of the French Massif Central.

Cenozoic rejuvenation events of Massif Central topography (France): Insights from cosmogenic denudation rates and river profiles

Olivetti V.
;
2016

Abstract

The French Massif Central is a part of the Hercynian orogenic belt that currently exhibits anomalously high topography. The Alpine orogenesis, which deeply marked Western European topography, involved only marginally the Massif Central, where Cenozoic faulting and short-wavelength crustal deformation is limited to the Oligocene rifting. For this reason the French Massif Central is a key site to study short- and long-term topographic response in a framework of slow tectonic activity. In particular the origin of the Massif Central topography is a topical issue still debated, where the role of mantle upwelling is invoked by different authors. Here we present a landscape analysis using denudation rates derived from basin-averaged cosmogenic nuclide concentrations coupled with longitudinal river profile analysis. This analysis allows us to recognize that the topography of the French Massif Central is not fully equilibrated with the present base level and in transient state.Our data highlight the coexistence of out-of-equilibrium river profiles, incised valleys, and low cosmogenically derived denudation rates ranging between 40 mm/kyr and 80 mm/kyr. Addressing this apparent inconsistency requires investigating the parameters that may govern erosion processes under conditions of reduced active tectonics. The spatial distribution of denudation rates coupled with topography analysis enabled us to trace the signal of the long-term uplift history and to propose a chronology for the uplift evolution of the French Massif Central.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11577/3370219
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