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Lithospheric foundering may be a fundamental phenomenon in diverse tectonic settings and has been shown to affect surface deformation, subsidence, and uplift. In the central Andes, lithospheric removal has been proposed to have acted at the scale of the whole orogenic system, at a smaller scale, and cyclically. Although geophysical and geochemical data have led workers to infer lithospheric foundering beneath the central Andes, there is no consensus on the timing, magnitude, and location of such foundering events. New field mapping, sedimentology, and 40Ar/39Ar and U-Pb geochronology from the Puna Plateau in NW Argentina document the timing...

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