Regional exhumation and kinematic history of the central Andes in response to cyclical orogenic processes

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

26 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Low-temperature thermochronological ages of samples from the central Andes correlate with major tectonic events during Late Cretaceous and Cenozoic times. Apatite fission-track (AFT) ages show prominent clusters during the Early-Late Cretaceous in the Coastal Cordillera and the Cordillera de Domeyko; Paleocene- Oligocene ages in the western Puna Plateau and Cordillera de Domeyko; and latest Eocene- Pliocene ages in the Eastern Cordillera. These ages track the expansion of the Andean orogenic edifice, the eastern front of which migrated rapidly eastward ∼200 km and ∼150 km during late Eocene and Pliocene times, respectively. During the intervening time interval, ca. 35-5 Ma, the orogenic strain front migrated slowly eastward through the Eastern Cordillera. A second cluster of Cretaceous ages in the Eastern Cordillera and Santa Bárbara Ranges documents exhumation related to extension in the Salta rift. The highly unsteady pace of orogenic wedge propagation suggests that kinematics controlled local climate, rather than vice versa. The frequency of AFT ages is anticorrelated with magmatic production in the central Andean arc and the rate of convergence between the Nazca and South American plates. We propose a link between AFT bedrock cooling ages in the central Andes and exhumation related to cyclical processes of shortening, wedge propagation, magmatism, and removal of dense roots from beneath the magmatic arc and thickened hinterland region. In particular, periods of sustained exhumation associated with local crustal shortening alternate with periods of rapid eastward wedge propagation during which exhumation was more spatially diffuse across the high-elevation hinterland. Episodes of spatially confined exhumation are correlated with periods of relatively low magmatic production in the central Andean arc and relatively slow or declining plate convergence rates. We speculate that shortening in the upper crust was contemporaneous with underthrusting of lower crust and mantle lithosphere beneath the magmatic arc. Because of thermal inertia, melting of these underthrusted rocks lagged behind the shortening events themselves, thus producing the observed temporal anticorrelation between rapid shortening-induced exhumation and arc magmatism.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationMemoir of the Geological Society of America
PublisherGeological Society of America
Pages201-213
Number of pages13
Volume212
ISBN (Print)9780813712123
DOIs
StatePublished - 2015

Publication series

NameMemoir of the Geological Society of America
Volume212
ISSN (Print)00721069

Fingerprint

exhumation
kinematics
cordillera
history
apatite
Cretaceous
magmatism
Pliocene
Eocene
plate convergence
crustal shortening
lower mantle
upper crust
inertia
Paleocene
lower crust
Oligocene
lithosphere
bedrock
melting

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geology

Cite this

Carrapa, B., & Decelles, P. G. (2015). Regional exhumation and kinematic history of the central Andes in response to cyclical orogenic processes. In Memoir of the Geological Society of America (Vol. 212, pp. 201-213). (Memoir of the Geological Society of America; Vol. 212). Geological Society of America. https://doi.org/10.1130/2015.1212(11)

Regional exhumation and kinematic history of the central Andes in response to cyclical orogenic processes. / Carrapa, Barbara; Decelles, Peter G.

Memoir of the Geological Society of America. Vol. 212 Geological Society of America, 2015. p. 201-213 (Memoir of the Geological Society of America; Vol. 212).

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Carrapa, B & Decelles, PG 2015, Regional exhumation and kinematic history of the central Andes in response to cyclical orogenic processes. in Memoir of the Geological Society of America. vol. 212, Memoir of the Geological Society of America, vol. 212, Geological Society of America, pp. 201-213. https://doi.org/10.1130/2015.1212(11)
Carrapa B, Decelles PG. Regional exhumation and kinematic history of the central Andes in response to cyclical orogenic processes. In Memoir of the Geological Society of America. Vol. 212. Geological Society of America. 2015. p. 201-213. (Memoir of the Geological Society of America). https://doi.org/10.1130/2015.1212(11)
Carrapa, Barbara ; Decelles, Peter G. / Regional exhumation and kinematic history of the central Andes in response to cyclical orogenic processes. Memoir of the Geological Society of America. Vol. 212 Geological Society of America, 2015. pp. 201-213 (Memoir of the Geological Society of America).
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