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Mark Naylor’s Blog

Mark Naylor’s Blog

I want to know how the Earth works…

Mountain Growth, Erosion and the Evolution of Foreland Basins


Having spent much of my time wandering in mountains – they have always fascinated me. If we want to learn about how they evolved, one option is to look at the material which eroded off them over hundreds of thousands to millions of years. Luckily, much of the eroded material is captured in the foreland basins that typically bound the mountain belt. These basins respond to the growth and erosion of topography as well as subsiding as sediment infills them. Much of our work has looked at this intimate relationship.

For me, this is curiosity driven research on something fundamental that shapes the world we inhabit.

Blog Articles


Prof Hugh Sinclair
Dr Mikael Attal


  • Sinclair, Naylor, Kirstein, Carter, Stanton, Glotzbach, Bernet, van der Beek, Late Cenozoic erosion rates in the Western Alps revealed by detrital apatite fission track analysis
  • Sinclair, Gailleton,  Walcott, Naylor and Mudd, Drainage capture expands big Himalayan rivers
  • T Bernard, H.D. Sinclair, M. Naylor, F. Christophoul, M. Ford (2020) Post‐orogenic sediment drape in the Northern Pyrenees explained using a box model, Basin Research,
  • Huyghe , M. Bernet , A. Galy , M. Naylor , J. Cruz , B.R. Gyawali ,Gemignani and J-L. Mugnier, (2020) Rapid exhumation since at least 13 Ma in the Himalaya recorded by detrital apatite fission-track dating of Bengal fan (IODP Expedition 354) and modern Himalayan river sediments, Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 534 (2020) 116078,
  • C Li, S Wanga, M Naylor, HD Sinclair, L Wanga (2020) Evolution of the Cenozoic Tarim Basin by flexural subsidence and sediment ponding: insights from quantitative basin modelling, Marine and Petroleum Geology
  • SM Marrero, AS Hein, M Naylor, M Attal, R Shanks, K Winter, J Woodward, … (2018) Controls on subaerial erosion rates in Antarctica, Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 501, 56-66
  • Naylor, M., Sinclair, H.D., Bernet, M., van der Beek, P., Kirstein, L.A. (2015) Bias in detrital fission track grain-age populations: Implications for reconstructing changing erosion rates, Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 422, pp. 94-104.
  • Baynes, E.R.C., Attal, M., Niedermann, S., Kirstein, L.A., Dugmore, A.J., Naylor, M. (2015) Erosion during extreme flood events dominates holocene canyon evolution in northeast Iceland, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 112 (8), pp. 2355-2360
  • M Attal, SM Mudd, MD Hurst, B Weinman, K Yoo, M Naylor (2015) Impact of change in erosion rate and landscape steepness on hillslope and fluvial sediments grain size in the Feather River basin (Sierra Nevada, California), Earth Surface Dynamics 3 (1), 201
  • Sinclair, H.D., Naylor, M. (2012) Foreland basin subsidence driven by topographic growth versus plate subduction Bulletin of the Geological Society of America, 124 (3-4), pp. 368-379.
  • Naylor, M., Sinclair, H.D. (2008) Pro- vs. retro-foreland basins, Basin Research, 20 (3), pp. 285-303.
  • Naylor, M., Sinclair, H.D. (2007) Punctuated thrust deformation in the context of doubly vergent thrust wedges: Implications for the location of uplift and exhumation, Geology, 35 (6), pp. 559-562.
  • Cowie, P.A., Attal, M., Tucker, G.E., Whittaker, A.C., Naylor, M., Ganas, A., Roberts, G.P. (2006) Investigating the surface process response to fault interaction and linkage using a numerical modelling approach, Basin Research, 18 (3), pp. 231-266.
  • Naylor, M., Sinclair, H.D., Willett, S., Cowie, P.A. (2005) A discrete element model for orogenesis and accretionary wedge growth, Journal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth, 110 (12), art. no. B12403, pp. 1-16
  • Sinclair, H.D., Gibson, M., Naylor, M., Morris, R.G. (2005) Asymmetric growth of the Pyrenees revealed through measurement and modeling of orogenic fluxes, American Journal of Science, 305 (5), pp. 369-406.



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