Next Article in Journal / Special Issue
Episodic Sedimentary Evolution of an Alluvial Fan (Huangshui Catchment, NE Tibetan Plateau)
Previous Article in Journal / Special Issue
Specifying the External Impact on Fluvial Lowland Evolution: The Last Glacial Tisza (Tisa) Catchment in Hungary and Serbia
Article Menu
Issue 2 (September) cover image

Export Article

Open AccessArticle

Anatomy, Age and Origin of an Intramontane Top Basin Surface (Sorbas Basin, Betic Cordillera, SE Spain)

School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of Plymouth, Drake Circus, Plymouth, Devon PL4 8AA, UK
Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) Cosmogenic Isotope Analysis Facility, Scottish Universities Environmental Research Centre, Rankine Avenue, Scottish Enterprise Technology Park, East Kilbride G75 0QF, UK
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Née Samantha H. Ilott.
Quaternary 2018, 1(2), 15;
Received: 29 June 2018 / Revised: 17 August 2018 / Accepted: 22 August 2018 / Published: 24 August 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Special External Effects on Fluvial System Evolution)
PDF [8811 KB, uploaded 24 August 2018]


Collisional mountain belts commonly develop intramontane basins from mechanical and isostatic subsidence during orogenic development. These frequently display a relict top surface, evidencing a change interval from basin infilling to erosion often via capture or overspill. Such surfaces provide markers that inform on orogenic growth patterns via climate and base level interplay. Here, we describe the top surface from the Sorbas Basin, a key intramontane basin within the Betic Cordillera (SE Spain). The surface is fragmentary comprising high elevation hilltops and discontinuous ridges developed onto the variably deformed final basin infill outcrop (Gochar Formation). We reconstruct surface configuration using DEM interpolation and apply 10Be/26Al cosmonuclides to assess surface formation timing. The surface is a degraded Early Pleistocene erosional pediment developed via autogenic switching of alluvial fan streams under stable dryland climate and base level conditions. Base-level lowering since the Middle Pleistocene focused headwards incision up interfan drainages, culminating in fan head capture and fan morphological preservation within the abandoned surface. Post abandonment erosion has lowered the basin surface by 31 m (average) and removed ~5.95 km3 of fill. Regional basin comparisons reveal a phase of Early Pleistocene surface formation, marking landscape stability following the most recent Pliocene-Early Pleistocene mountain building. Post-surface erosion rate quantification is low and in accordance with 10Be denudation rates typical of the low uplift Betic Cordillera. View Full-Text

Graphical abstract

This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

Supplementary material


Share & Cite This Article

MDPI and ACS Style

Stokes, M.; Mather, A.; Rodes, A.; Kearsey, S.; Lewin, S. Anatomy, Age and Origin of an Intramontane Top Basin Surface (Sorbas Basin, Betic Cordillera, SE Spain). Quaternary 2018, 1, 15.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats

Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Article Metrics

Article Access Statistics



[Return to top]
Quaternary EISSN 2571-550X Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
Back to Top