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Andean growth and monsoon winds drive landscape evolution at SW margin of South America

Abstract : In the Atacama Desert, the driest place on Earth located at the subduction margin of the Andes, the landscape evolves very slowly and changes in tectonic or erosion processes remain for a long time in the memory of topography. At latitude ∼19°30‧S, a threshold between exoreic and endoreic drainage regimes is clearly associated with the latitudinal gradient imposed by the modern monsoon (carrying humidity from the Atlantic) and disposed obliquely over catchments draining the Andes to the Pacific. We summarize the geomorphic, geological and climatic data in the threshold area. We then use these data to constrain numerical experiments of drainage evolution. Data and experimental results are consistent with the development of a flat low-energy morphology, close to sea level, interrupted at ≤10 Ma by tectonic uplift prevailing to the present suggesting trench-ward relief growth by incorporation of the coastal Atacama region to the Andes mountain belt.
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Submitted on : Friday, February 18, 2022 - 2:02:42 PM
Last modification on : Sunday, February 20, 2022 - 3:32:44 AM

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Aurélie Coudurier-Curveur, Robin Lacassin, Rolando Armijo. Andean growth and monsoon winds drive landscape evolution at SW margin of South America. EARTH AND PLANETARY SCIENCE LETTERS, 2015, 414, pp.87-99. ⟨10.1016/j.epsl.2014.12.047⟩. ⟨insu-03580014⟩

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