EGU General Assembly 2022
© Author(s) 2022. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Landscape response to the linkage of two normal faults

Chuanqi He1,2,3, Ci-Jian Yang1, Gang Rao3, Duna C. Roda-Boluda4, Xiaoping Yuan2, Rong Yang3, Lin Gao3, and Li Zhang5
Chuanqi He et al.
  • 1German Research Centre for Geosciences (GFZ), Potsdam, Germany (
  • 2School of Earth Sciences, China University of Geosciences, Wuhan, China
  • 3School of Earth Sciences, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou, China
  • 4Department of Earth Sciences, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Amsterdam, Netherlands
  • 5Shaanxi Key Laboratory of Accelerator Mass Spectrometry Technology and Application, Xi'an, China

Normal fault linkage has significant impacts on uplift patterns and erosional processes in extensional regions. However, geomorphic process-based constraints on landscape response to normal fault linkage are still scarce. Here, we use landscape evolution models to examine how a landscape responds to the linkage of two normal faults. The results demonstrate that topography dynamically responds to the changes in uplift patterns that accompany fault linkage. Specifically, our results indicate that after fault linkage, (1) the steepest topography and the highest erosion rate shift from the center of each fault segment to the linkage zone; and (2) the main drainage divide evolves from an M-shape to a bow shape. We apply these findings to the Langshan Mountains in northern China, and suggest that the two piedmont fault segments have linked and that a high geohazard risk exists near the linkage zone, where the steep, transient topography is experiencing intense erosion.

How to cite: He, C., Yang, C.-J., Rao, G., Roda-Boluda, D. C., Yuan, X., Yang, R., Gao, L., and Zhang, L.: Landscape response to the linkage of two normal faults, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-1311,, 2022.