National Science Foundation: 184855
Along subduction zones, high-relief topography is associated with sustained volcanism parallel to the plate margin. However, the relationship between magmatism and mountain building in arcs is poorly understood. Here, we study patterns of surface deformation and correlated fluvial knickpoints in the Columbia River Gorge to link long-term magmatism to the uplift and ensuing topographic development of the Cascade Range. An upwarped paleochannel exposed in the walls of the Gorge constrains unsteady deep magma flux, the ratio of intrusive to extrusive magmatic contributions to topography, and the impact of magmatism on Columbia River incision since 3.5 million years ago. Geophysical data indicate that deep magma influx beneath the arc axis is ongoing and not aligned with the current locations of volcanic edifices, representing a broad regional influence on arc construction.
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Klema, N., Karlstrom, L., Cannon, C., Jiang, C., O’Connor, J., Wells, R., & Schmandt, B. (2023). The magmatic origin of the Columbia River Gorge, USA. Science Advances, 9(51), eadj3357.