The evolution of deformation and topography of high elevated plateaus 2. Application to the Central Andes

S. Wdowinski, Y. Bock

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The central Andes form a wide elevated plateau flanked in the west by a steep slope toward the deep Chilean Trench and in the east by a gentle slope that subsides gradually toward the Brazilian Shield. The low elevated trench topography is dynamically supported, whereas the high Andean mountain topography is mostly isostatically supported by a thick crust. The time evolution of the Andean deformation and topography is investigated by applying a temperature dependent viscoplastic flow model of continental lithosphere to the South American plate. The model predicts the observed present-day topographic profile across the central Andes. The results suggest that the Altiplano developed and extended to its present width of 400km as a result of thermal weakening of the lithosphere since late Oligocene until present. The model also predicts the observed eastward migration of the locus of the Andean crustal deformation with time. -from Authors

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)7121-7130
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Geophysical Research
Issue numberB4
StatePublished - Jan 1 1994


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geophysics
  • Forestry
  • Oceanography
  • Aquatic Science
  • Ecology
  • Water Science and Technology
  • Soil Science
  • Geochemistry and Petrology
  • Earth-Surface Processes
  • Atmospheric Science
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Space and Planetary Science
  • Palaeontology

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