Distribution, timing, and causes of Andean deformation across South America
Published:January 01, 2007
Peter R. Cobbold, Eduardo A. Rossello, Pierrick Roperch, César Arriagada, Luis A. Gómez, Claudio Lima, 2007. "Distribution, timing, and causes of Andean deformation across South America", Deformation of the Continental Crust: The Legacy of Mike Coward, A. C. Ries, R. W. H. Butler, R. H. Graham
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The Andean Orogeny in South America has lasted over 100 Ma. It comprises the Peruvian, Incaic and Quechuan phases. The Nazca and South American plates have been converging at varying rates since the Palaeocene. The active tectonics of South America are relatively clear, from seismological and Global Positioning System (GPS) data. Horizontal shortening is responsible for a thick crust and high topography in the Andes, as well as in SE Brazil and Patagonia. We have integrated available data and have compiled four fault maps at the scale of South America, for the mid-Cretaceous, Late Cretaceous, Palaeogene and Neogene periods. Andean compression has been widespread since the Aptian. The continental margins have registered more deformation than the interior. For the Peruvian phase, not enough information is available to establish a tectonic context. During the Incaic phase, strike-slip faulting was common. During the Quechuan phase, crustal thickening has been the dominant mode of deformation. To investigate the mechanics of deformation, we have carried out 10 properly scaled experiments on physical models of the lithosphere, containing various plates. The dominant response to plate motion was subduction of oceanic lithosphere beneath continental South America. However, the model continent also deformed internally, especially at the margins and initial weaknesses.
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Deformation of the Continental Crust: The Legacy of Mike Coward
This Special Publication, in memory and celebration of the work of Professor Mike Coward, is about the deformation of the continental lithosphere. The collected papers discuss geometry, structural principles, processes and problems in a wide range of tectonic settings and thereby reflect the breadth of Coward's interests. They encompass the evolution of Precambrian basement gneiss terrains, the geometry and evolution of thrust systems, basement involvement and structural inheritance in basins, syn-orogenic extension, salt tectonics, the implication of structural evolution on hydrocarbon prospectivity and structural controls on mineralization. Examples are drawn from the Lewisian and Moine Thrust Belt of NW Scotland, the Italian Apennines, NW Himalayas, the Cyclades, Oman, Zagros Mountains, Colombian Cordillera, Carpathians, North Sea, offshore Brazil, regional studies of the Irumide Belt (central Africa), Taurus Mountains (Turkey), greater South America, and from the Witwatersrand Basin of South Africa and the Antler Orogeny of SW USA.