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Volume 19 Issue 6 (June 2009)

GSA Today

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Article, pp. 50-51 | PDF (302KB)


Painting the Past: From Scientific Research to Art

Patricia Vickers-Rich*

School of Geosciences, Monash University, Melbourne, Australia

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Since Dahlen and Suppe (1988) showed that erosion can affect the tectonics of the region undergoing that erosion, geodynamicists, tectonic geologists, and geomorphologists have joined in an effort to unravel the interrelationships among not only erosion and tectonics but also climate, which affects erosion and is affected by tectonics. The fruits of this effort grow continually, as shown in part by the attraction that this subject has for students and young scientists. Yet, it seems to me that progress has been limited by a misconception that has stimulated this polemic. Much effort seems to be expended in trying to understand what “controls” erosion, tectonics, or climate, or what “drives” erosion, “rock uplift,” climate, and so forth. Although these questions are not meaningless in all cases, enough are.

Manuscript received 29 October 2008; accepted 28 January 2009.

doi: 10.1130/GSATG32GW.1

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