Denudation - Rates


Modern denudation estimates are usually based on stream load measurements taken at gauging stations. Suspended load, bed load, and dissolved load are included in measurements. The weight of the load is converted to volumetric units and the load volume is divided by the area of the watershed above the gaging station. The result is an estimate of the wearing down of the Earth's surface in inches or centimeters per 1000 years. In most cases no adjustments are made for human impact, which causes the measurements to be inflated.

Denudation rates are usually much lower than the rates of uplift. The only areas at which there could be equal rates of denudation and uplift are active plate margins with an extended period of continuous deformation.

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