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Cenozoic weathering of fluvial terraces and emergence of biogeographic boundaries in Central Amazonia

Abstract : The study of paleofluvial dynamics is crucial to understand the role of rivers as biogeographic boundaries in Amazonia during the Cenozoic. In central Amazonia, Mesozoic and Cenozoic fluvial deposits - Alter do Chão, Iranduba and Novo Remanso Formations - host supergene iron oxides and record changes in the distribution of flooded and non-flooded (upland) environments. Geochronological data on these deposits are still scarce to constrain past landscape changes. Therefore, in this study we investigate iron oxides precipitated within weathering profiles developed on ancient fluvial terraces to access the interplay between flooded and non-flooded environments in central Amazonia. We aimed to trace the history of abandonment of alluvial plains and the subsequent weathering of lowland sediment deposits during the Cenozoic. We identified at least two main periods of iron oxide precipitation: (1) one starting before ~42 Ma and ending at ~18 Ma; and (2) a well-defined humid and weathering prone phase between ~8 and 1 Ma. Dominant goethite precipitation marks a major climatic shift towards more humid conditions from ~3 Ma. The increase in water discharge of the Negro and Solimões rivers possibly promoted fluvial incision and conversion of floodplains into long-lasting upland terrains as indicated by the development of lateritic weathering profiles. This major phase of upland expansion corroborates upland birds phylogenetic data, which indicate the emergence of a major biogeographic barrier in central Amazonia during late Pliocene/Pleistocene.
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Submitted on : Monday, May 2, 2022 - 7:31:10 AM
Last modification on : Sunday, June 5, 2022 - 11:41:39 AM

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Cécile Gautheron, André Sawakuchi, Marcio dos Santos Albuquerque, Cristiana Cabriolu, Mauricio Parra, et al.. Cenozoic weathering of fluvial terraces and emergence of biogeographic boundaries in Central Amazonia. Global and Planetary Change, Elsevier, 2022, 212, pp.103815. ⟨10.1016/j.gloplacha.2022.103815⟩. ⟨insu-03656251⟩

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