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Tectonic control of erosion in the southern Central Andes

TitleTectonic control of erosion in the southern Central Andes
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2018
AuthorsVal P., Venerdini A.L, Ouimet W., Alvarado P., Hoke G.D
JournalEarth and Planetary Science Letters
Date Published2018/01
Type of ArticleArticle
ISBN Number0012-821X
Accession NumberWOS:000423892400016
Keywordsalong-strike variations; Andes; argentina; argentine precordillera; Central chile; climate; crustal seismicity; crustal structure; erosion rate; Foreland basin; Geochemistry & Geophysics; incision; landscape evolution; mountain belts; precipitation; river; tectonics; thrust belt; western

Landscape evolution modeling and global compilations of exhumation data indicate that a wetter climate, mainly through orographic rainfall, can govern the spatial distribution of erosion rates and crustal strain across an orogenic wedge. However, detecting this link is not straightforward since these relationships can be modulated by tectonic forcing and/or obscured by heavy-tailed frequencies of catchment discharge. This study combines new and published along-strike average rates of catchment erosion constrained by Be-10 and river-gauge data in the Central Andes between 28 degrees S and 36 degrees S. These data reveal a nearly identical latitudinal pattern in erosion rates on both sides of the range, reaching a maximum of 0.27 mm/a near 34 degrees S. Collectively, data on topographic and fluvial relief, variability of rainfall and discharge, and crustal seismicity suggest that the along-strike pattern of erosion rates in the southern Central Andes is largely independent of climate, but closely relates to the N-S distribution of shallow crustal seismicity and diachronous surface uplift. The consistently high erosion rates on either side of the orogen near 34 degrees S imply that climate plays a secondary role in the mass flux through an orogenic wedge where the perturbation to base level is similar on both sides. (C) 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Short TitleEarth Planet. Sci. Lett.
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