Marine geology, oceanography and climate
Margarita Marchant (coordinator), Adriano Cecioni, Sylvia Figueroa, Humberto González, Susana Giglio, Dierk Hebbeln, Jérôme Kaiser, Frank Lamy, Mahyar Mohtadi, Verónica Pineda, Oscar Romero, 2007. "Marine geology, oceanography and climate", The Geology of Chile, Teresa Moreno, Wes Gibbons
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This chapter examines ancient and modern geological and oceanographic processes relevant to that part of the Pacific Ocean lying offshore from the Chilean mainland. Initial overviews are presented of submarine geomorphology, plate tectonic background, Chilean physiography, oceanic circulation and present-day climate. These are followed by an examination of modern sedimentation, which looks at controls on marine productivity, the roles of plankton, organic matter and biogenic opal fluxes, calcareous and siliceous organisms, and the input of terrigenous sediment into the marine environment. These modern processes are then compared with past sedimentation patterns and palaeo-productivity, in a further attempt to better understand the driving forces behind ancient and modern environmental variability.
The team of authors assembled for this chapter reflects a long-term cooperative effort between Chilean and German oceanographers. In 1991, the universities of Concepción, Austral de Chile, Católica de Valparaíso and del Mar instigated a scientific cooperative programme with the Department of Geosciences of the University of Bremen, Germany. Several projects funded by the German Ministry for Science and Education in the fields of biogeochemistry (JGOFS: Joint Global Ocean Flux Study – Chile) and palaeoceanography (CHIPAL: Spätquartäre Variationen der Paläoproduktivität im Östlichen Südpazifik, SO-102 (Hebbeln et al. 1995); PUCK: Wechselwirkungen zwischen Produktivität und Umweltbedingungen am chilenischen Kontinentalhang, SO-156 (Hebbeln et al. 2001)), as well as Fondecyt-funded projects for studying biogeochemistry and palaeoceanographic processes, were conducted along the Chilean coast (Fondap I and II, Fondecyt no. 1010912 and no. 1040968). Key scientific goals of these projects include a better understanding
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This book is the first comprehensive account in English of the geology of Chile, providing a key reference work that brings together many years of research, and written mostly by Chilean authors from various universities and other centres of research excellence. The 13 chapters begin with a general overview, followed by detailed accounts of Andean tectonostratigraphy and magmatism, the amazingly active volcanism, the world class ore deposits that have proven to be so critical to the welfare of the country, and Chilean water resources. The subject then turns to geophysics with an examination of neotectonics and earthquakes, the hazardous frequency of which is a daily fact of life for the Chilean population. There are chapters on the offshore geology and oceanography of the SE Pacific Ocean, subjects that continue to attract much research not least from those seeking to understand world climatic variations, and on late Quaternary land environments, concluding with an account examining human colonization of southernmost America.
During his voyage on H.M.S. Beagle, an extended visit to Chile (1834-35) had a profound impact on Charles Darwin, especially on his understanding of volcanoes, earthquakes and tsunamis. Over more recent decades scientists have come to recognize the Chilean Andes as providing the classic example of a mountain belt produced by oceanic subduction beneath a continent, as well as some of the most dramatic scenic and climatic variations on Earth. In the final chapter, the editors offer a description of a drive from the Mediterranean landscapes of central Chile to the hyperarid Atacama Desert, a contribution designed to give visitors a chance to experience for themselves the geology and scenery of this extraordinary country.