Many rifted or passive continental margins feature a seaward-facing erosional escarpment which abruptly demarcates deeply weathered, low relief, interior uplands from a deeply incised, high relief coastal zone. It is generally accepted that these escarpments originate at the time of continental rifting and propagate inland through the elevated rift flank topography at rates on the order of 1 km/Myr over the course of a margin's history. Considering the length of passive margins worldwide and an average rift flank plateau height of several hundred meters, it is clear that sediment eroded from passive margins is an important component of the mass flux from continents to oceans through geologic time. The overall goal of the research reported here is to develop a quantitative understanding of the kinematics of escarpment propagation across passive margins and the underlying geological processes responsible for this behavior. Plateau-bounding escarpments in general exhibit two basic forms depending on the direction of surface water drainage on the plateau interior relative to the escarpment. Where surface water flows away from the escarpment, the escarpment takes the form of subdued embayments and promontories, such that its overall trend remains fairly straight as it evolves with time. Where upland streams flow across the escarpment, it takes the form of dramatic, narrow gorges whose heads appear to propagate up the plateau drainage systems as large-scale knickpoints. From work on the Colorado Plateau, Schmidt (1987) noted that the Colorado River is located much closer to the Grand Canyon's south rim, a drainage divide escarpment, than to the north rim, which is a gorge-like escarpment. The main implication is that the gorge-like form might be associated with higher long-term average erosion rates compared to the drainage divide escarpment type.