A geomorphological approach to determining the Neogene to Recent tectonic deformation in the Coastal Cordillera of northern Chile (Atacama)

Riquelme R.; Martinod, J; Herail, G.; Darrozes, J; Charrier R.

Abstract

The large ( ? 10000 km2) and local-scale ( <400 km2) geomorphologic, geomorphometric and field evidence indicates that, from the mid-Miocene onwards, the Atacama Fault System (AFS) accommodated the relative uplift of the western side of the Chilean Coastal Cordillera of the Chañaral region (southern Atacama Desert). The mean regional altitude systematically decreases eastwards crossing the AFS, independent of the lithological characteristics of the substratum cut by this system of faults. Topographic analysis reveals a more incised landscape west of the AFS that, at the local scale, is reported by the distribution of the altitudes (hypsometric curves and integrals) of tributary basins and by the presence of terraces. In the Middle and Upper Miocene, a thick (>300 m) sedimentary succession was deposited east of the AFS. The succession fills previously deep paleovalleys. And it consists of gravel, so-called "Atacama Gravels", which passes laterally into fine-grained playa related deposits near the AFS. We interpret the deposition of this succession as a result of a blocking closure of the valley flowing from the Precordillera due to the activity on AFS. A pedimentation episode followed sediment deposition and is locally strongly reincised by the main modern-day river valleys draining the Precordillera. Incision may result from either regional uplift of the forearc, and/or from more localized activity on the AFS. Furthermore, Recent (Quaternary?) tectonic activity on the AFS has been observed which is consistent with a localized relative uplift of the crustal block west of the AFS. © 2002 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.

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Título según WOS: A geomorphological approach to determining the Neogene to Recent tectonic deformation in the Coastal Cordillera of northern Chile (Atacama)
Título según SCOPUS: A geomorphological approach to determining the Neogene to Recent tectonic deformation in the Coastal Cordillera of northern Chile (Atacama)
Título de la Revista: TECTONOPHYSICS
Volumen: 361
Número: 03-abr
Editorial: Elsevier BV
Fecha de publicación: 2003
Página de inicio: 255
Página final: 275
Idioma: English
URL: http://linkinghub.elsevier.com/retrieve/pii/S0040195102006492
DOI:

10.1016/S0040-1951(02)00649-2

Notas: ISI, SCOPUS