University of Vermont

Cosmogenic Nuclide Laboratory and Geomorphology Research Group

Erosion of the Blue Ridge Escarpment



The Blue Ridge Escarpment is a dominant geomorphic feature in southern Virginia and northern North Carolina. We used analysis of river and stream sediments from on, above, and below the escarpment to determine relative rates of erosion and calculate backwearing rates for this mega-geomorphic feature. We find that all rates of erosion in this area are slow, on the order of a few tens of meters per million years and that the rates of erosion on the escarpment are just a bit higher than those of basins above and below. These data clearly indicate that the escarpment is a stable geomorphic feature.
Project Support
NSF Eroding the Appalachians EAR-310208
Proposal Project Summary (download pdf)
People Working on this Project
Paul Bierman
Jane Duxbury
Robert Finkel
Jennifer Larsen
Luke Reusser
Colleen Sullivan
Theses Related to this Project

Colleen Sullivan, MS thesis (2007): Using 10Be to investigate the long term behavior of the Blue Ridge Escarpment (download pdf)
Abstracts Related to this Project

Bierman, P., Duxbury, J., Jungers, M., Reusser, L., Reuter, J., Sullivan, C., Larsen, J., Pavich, M., and Finkel, R., 2007, A geochronologic glimpse into how ancient mountain ranges erode: Geological Society of America Abstracts with Programs, v. 39, p. 512. (download pdf)

Bierman, P.R., Nichols, K.K., Sullivan, C., Duxbury, J., and Matmon, A., 2007, Little influence of grain size on cosmogenic 10Be concentration in river sediment: Geological Society of America Abstracts with Programs, v. 39, p. 137. (download pdf)

Sullivan, C., Bierman, P.R., Reusser, L., Pavich, M., Larsen, J., and Finkel, R.C., 2007, Cosmogenic erosion rates and landscape evolution of the Blue Ridge Escarpment, southern Appalachian Mountains: Geological Society of America Abstracts with Programs, v. 39, p. 512. (download pdf)

Bierman, P.R., Pavich, M., Reusser, L., Matmon, A., Sullivan, C., Duxbury, J., Larsen, J., Finkel, R., and Reuter, J., 2006, Erosion in an old decaying mountain range - the Appalachians: Geological Society of America Abstracts with Programs, v. 38, p. 175. (download pdf)

Last modified October 02 2008 02:56 PM

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