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Authors: Sternai, Pietro* 
Sue, Christian* 
Husson, Laurent* 
Serpelloni, Enrico* 
Becker, Thorsten W.* 
Willett, Sean* 
Faccenna, Claudio* 
Di Giulio, Andrea* 
Spada, Giorgio* 
Jolivet, Laurent* 
Valla, Pierre* 
Petit, Carole* 
Nocquet, Jean-Mathieu* 
Walpersdorf, Andrea* 
Castelltort, Sébastien* 
Title: Present-day uplift of the European Alps: Evaluating mechanisms and models of their relative contributions
Journal: Earth Science Reviews 
Series/Report no.: /190 (2019)
Publisher: Elsevier
Issue Date: 2019
DOI: 10.1016/j.earscirev.2019.01.005
Subject Classification04. Solid Earth
04.03. Geodesy 
04.07. Tectonophysics 
Abstract: Recent measurements of surface vertical displacements of the European Alps show a correlation between vertical velocities and topographic features, with widespread uplift at rates of up to ~2–2.5 mm/a in the North-Western and Central Alps, and ~1 mm/a across a continuous region from the Eastern to the South-Western Alps. Such a rock uplift rate pattern is at odds with the horizontal velocity eld, characterized by shortening and crustal thickening in the Eastern Alps and very limited deformation in the Central and Western Alps. Proposed me- chanisms of rock uplift rate include isostatic response to the last deglaciation, long-term erosion, detachment of the Western Alpine slab, as well as lithospheric and surface de ection due to mantle convection. Here, we assess previous work and present new estimates of the contributions from these mechanisms. Given the large range of model estimates, the isostatic adjustment to deglaciation and erosion are su cient to explain the full observed rate of uplift in the Eastern Alps, which, if correct, would preclude a contribution from horizontal shortening and crustal thickening. Alternatively, uplift is a partitioned response to a range of mechanisms. In the Central and Western Alps, the lithospheric adjustment to deglaciation and erosion likely accounts for roughly half of the rock uplift rate, which points to a noticeable contribution by mantle-related processes such as detachment of the European slab and/or asthenospheric upwelling. While it is di cult to independently constrain the patterns and magnitude of mantle contributions to ongoing Alpine vertical displacements at present, future data should provide additional insights. Regardless, interacting tectonic and surface mass redistribution processes, rather than an individual forcing, best explain ongoing Alpine elevation changes.
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