Tectonic evolution of the Central Andean Plateau and implications for the growth of plateaus

Annual Review of Earth and Planetary Sciences
By: , and 

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Abstract

Current end-member models for the geodynamic evolution of orogenic plateaus predict (a) slow and steady rise during crustal shortening and ablative subduction (i.e., continuous removal) of the lower lithosphere or (b) rapid surface uplift following shortening, which is associated with punctuated removal of dense lower lithosphere and/or lower crustal flow. This review integrates results from recent studies of the modern lithospheric structure, geologic evolution, and surface uplift history of the Central Andean Plateau to evaluate the geodynamic processes involved in forming it. Comparison of the timing, magnitude, and distribution of shortening and surface uplift, in combination with other geologic evidence, highlights the pulsed nature of plateau growth. We discuss specific regions and time periods that show evidence for end-member geodynamic processes, including middle–late Miocene surface uplift of the southern Eastern Cordillera and Altiplano associated with shortening and ablative subduction, latest Oligocene–early Miocene and late Miocene–early Pliocene punctuated removal of dense lower lithosphere in the Eastern Cordillera and Altiplano, and late Miocene–early Pliocene crustal flow in the central and northern Altiplano.

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Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Tectonic evolution of the Central Andean Plateau and implications for the growth of plateaus
Series title Annual Review of Earth and Planetary Sciences
DOI 10.1146/annurev-earth-063016-020612
Volume 45
Year Published 2017
Language English
Publisher Annual Reviews
Contributing office(s) Alaska Science Center Geology Minerals
Description 31 p.
First page 529
Last page 559
Other Geospatial Central Andean Plateau