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 andor 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 middlelate Miocene surface uplift of the southern Eastern Cordillera and Altiplano associated with shortening and ablative subduction, latest Oligoceneearly Miocene and late Mioceneearly Pliocene punctuated removal of dense lower lithosphere in the Eastern Cordillera and Altiplano, and late Mioceneearly Pliocene crustal flow in the central and northern Altiplano.
Annual Review of Earth and Planetary Sciences – Annual Reviews
Published: Aug 30, 2017
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