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We therefore constrain the generation of the great majority of relief in the study area to be pre-Quaternary, and caused by the tectonic construction of the plateau, rather than a subcrustal origin related to the Quaternary magmatism.
The Tibetan and Turkish–Iranian plateaux are formed by the India–Eurasia and Arabia–Eurasia collisions, respectively (Hatzfeld & Molnar 2010), and are first-order geomorphic features of the Eurasian landscape.However their tectonic evolution and surface uplift history are not clearly understood, even though there may be consequences for climate on regional if not global levels (Raymo Ar ages for lavas in the Maku region of northwest Iran (Figs 1 and 2), within the Turkish–Iranian plateau.The sampled lavas have an unusual setting: they travelled through pre-existing river valleys for tens of kilometres.After eruption, the valleys were reoccupied by the present rivers, which have cut gorges on the scale of 10–50 m through the lavas.Samples are from flows that passed along pre-existing river valleys.Gorges were cut by re-established rivers after the eruptions, but the great majority of the local relief (∼95 per cent) lies above the sampled flows and so most likely pre-dates the volcanism.
Gorge depths and lava ages allow local Quaternary fluvial incision rates to be calculated, which are ∼0.01 to 0.05 mm yr.
These rates imply slow surface uplift of this part of the Turkish—Iranian plateau during the Quaternary.
1.87 and 0.40 Ma, which help constrain the tectonic and landscape evolution of this part of the Turkish—Iranian plateau.
Flows originated from the composite volcanoes Ararat (Agri Dagi), Tendürek and Yigit Dagi, in eastern Turkey (Anatolia).
These volcanoes are within the Turkish—Iranian plateau, which is a consequence of the Arabia—Eurasia collision, but has a poorly constrained evolution and surface uplift history.
Current plateau elevations are typically 1.5–2 km, and relief between non-volcanic summits and basins is typically on the scale of ∼1 km.