The Role of Near‐Fault Relief Elements in Creating and Maintaining a Strike‐Slip Landscape
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The Role of Near‐Fault Relief Elements in Creating and Maintaining a Strike‐Slip Landscape

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  • Journal Title:
    Geophysical Research Letters
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    Strike‐slip landscapes are often associated with a suite of characteristic geomorphic features that provide primary evidence for interpreting fault slip histories. Here we explore the role of shutter ridges, areas of relief advected laterally along faults, in generating two classic strike‐slip processes: progressive lateral offset of channels and stream capture. Landscape models and comparative analysis of the Marlborough Fault System, NZ, show that the length of channel offsets observable in a landscape is primarily controlled by the length of shutter ridges. In our simple landscape model, this scale is controlled by the drainage spacing, and therefore by the geometry of the mountain range. In a more complex landscape, this scale may be controlled by lithologic or structural contrasts. We also find that shutter ridge relief inhibits stream capture, especially at slow fault slip rates relative to hillslope erosion rates. In this case, lateral drainage advection enables streams to “outrun” capture.
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    Geophysical Research Letters 45(21): 11683-11692, 2018
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