Skip to Main Content
Skip Nav Destination

Climatic forcing of asymmetric orogenic evolution in the Eastern Cordillera of Colombia

Andres Mora, Mauricio Parra, Manfred R. Strecker, Edward R. Sobel, Henry Hooghiemstra, Vladimir Torres and Jaime Vallejo Jaramillo
Climatic forcing of asymmetric orogenic evolution in the Eastern Cordillera of Colombia
Geological Society of America Bulletin (August 2008) 120 (7-8): 930-949


New apatite fission-track data, paleoelevation estimates from paleobotany, and recently acquired geological data from the Eastern Cordillera of Colombia document the onset of increased exhumation rates in the northeastern Andes at ca. 3 Ma. The Eastern Cordillera forms an efficient orographic barrier that intercepts moisture-laden winds sourced in the Amazon lowlands, leading to high rainfall and erosion gradients across the eastern flank of the range. In contrast, the drier leeward western flank is characterized by lower rates of deformation and exhumation. In light of the geological evolution of the Eastern Cordillera, the combination of these data sets suggests that the orographic barrier reached a critical elevation between ca. 6 and ca. 3 Ma, which ultimately led to protracted, yet more focused erosion along the eastern flank. Sequentially restored structural cross sections across the eastern flank of the Eastern Cordillera indicate that shortening rates also have increased during the past 3 Ma. From fission-track and structural cross-section balancing, we infer that accelerated exhumation led to increasing tectonic rates on the eastern flank, creating a pronounced topographic and structural asymmetry in the Eastern Cordillera. The tectonic and climatic evolution of this orogen thus makes it a prime example of the importance of climatic forcing on tectonic processes.

ISSN: 0016-7606
EISSN: 1943-2674
Serial Title: Geological Society of America Bulletin
Serial Volume: 120
Serial Issue: 7-8
Title: Climatic forcing of asymmetric orogenic evolution in the Eastern Cordillera of Colombia
Affiliation: Universitaet Potsdam, Institut fuer Geowissenschaften, Potsdam, Federal Republic of Germany
Pages: 930-949
Published: 200808
Text Language: English
Publisher: Geological Society of America (GSA), Boulder, CO, United States
References: 120
Accession Number: 2008-104170
Categories: StratigraphyGeochronology
Document Type: Serial
Bibliographic Level: Analytic
Annotation: Includes appendix
Illustration Description: illus. incl. sects., 3 tables, sketch maps
N04°00'00" - N05°30'00", W74°30'00" - W72°30'00"
Secondary Affiliation: University of Amsterdam, NLD, NetherlandsPETROBRAS-Colombia, COL, Colombia
Country of Publication: United States
Secondary Affiliation: GeoRef, Copyright 2019, American Geosciences Institute. Reference includes data from GeoScienceWorld, Alexandria, VA, United States. Reference includes data supplied by the Geological Society of America, Boulder, CO, United States
Update Code: 200836
Close Modal

or Create an Account

Close Modal
Close Modal