The processes driving uplift and exhumation of the highest Peruvian peaks (the Cordillera Blanca) are not well understood. Uplift and exhumation seem closely linked to the formation and movement on the Cordillera Blanca normal fault (CBNF) that delimits and shapes the western flank of the Cordillera Blanca. Several models have been proposed to explain the presence of this major normal fault in a compressional setting, but the CBNF and the Cordillera Blanca recent rapid uplift remain enigmatic. Whereas the Cordillera Blanca morphology demonstrates important erosion and thus a significant mass of rocks removal, the impact of erosion and isostasy on the evolution of the Cordillera Blanca uplift rates has never been explored. We address the role of erosion and associated flexural rebound in the uplift and exhumation of the Cordillera Blanca with numerical modeling of landscape evolution. We perform inversions of the broad features of the present-day topography, total exhumation and thermochronological data using a landscape evolution model (FastScape) to provide constraints on the erosion efficiency factor, the uplift rate and the temperature gradient. Our results evidence the not negligible contribution of erosion and associated flexural rebound to the uplift of the Cordillera Blanca and allow us to question the models previously proposed for the formation of the CBNF.
Tectonophysics – Elsevier
Published: Mar 20, 2018
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