Science: Hundred million years of landscape dynamics from catchment to global scale

Our capability to reconstruct past landscapes and the processes that shape them underpins our understanding of paleo-Earth. We take advantage of a global-scale landscape evolution model assimilating paleoelevation and paleoclimate reconstructions over the past 100 million years. This model provides continuous quantifications of metrics critical to the understanding of the Earth system, from global physiography to sediment flux and stratigraphic architectures. We reappraise the role played by surface processes in controlling sediment delivery to the oceans and find stable sedimentation rates throughout the Cenozoic with distinct phases of sediment transfer from terrestrial to marine basins. Our simulation provides a tool for identifying inconsistencies in previous interpretations of the geological record as preserved in sedimentary strata, and in available paleoelevation and paleoclimatic reconstructions.

Salles, T., Husson, L., Rey, P., Mallard, C., Zahirovic, S., Hadler Boggiani B., Coltice, N., Arnould, M., Science 379, 918 (2023).

The Conversation: Scientists just revealed the most detailed geological model of Earth’s past 100 million years

COSMOS: French-Australian collaboration produces super-accurate simulation of 100 million years of Earth’s history