[275] - The origins and implications of paleochannels in hyperarid, tectonically active regions: The northern Atacama Desert, Chile

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Binnie, S., Reicherter, K., Victor, P., González, G., Binnie, A., Niemann, K., Stuart, F., Lenting, C., Heinze, S., Freeman, S., Dunai, T., 2020. The origins and implications of paleochannels in hyperarid, tectonically active regions: The northern Atacama Desert, Chile. Global and Planetary Change, . DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.gloplacha.2019.103083.
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Title(s):Main Title: The origins and implications of paleochannels in hyperarid, tectonically active regions: The northern Atacama Desert, Chile
Description(s):Abstract: Preserved remnants of fluvial activity in deserts constitute evidence for changing boundary conditions. The Atacama Desert of northern Chile is the global end-member for aridity, so the history of relict stream networks in this region is a record of how landscapes develop under extreme conditions. On Pampa de Tana in northern Chile (19.4°S), a series of channel forms that are presently inactive but in the past flowed westward are incised into the surface of a fault bounded, topographically elevated portion of the El Diablo Formation, a regionally extensive, relict pediment. We measure cosmic-ray produced 10Be, 26Al and 21Ne in fluvial deposits to date the timing of abandonment of three channels and couple this with topographic profile information from a SPOT-6 derived, 2m resolution digital elevation model. We find two of the channels were abandoned approximately>5.6 Myr and 2.0 Myr ago. One channel is still capable of flow and has ages suggesting it was fluvially active within the last few hundred thousand years. Using the paleochannel ages measured here and published ages for the end of aggradation of the El Diablo Formation we estimate the rates of fluvial channel incision before channel abandonment, and uplift rates on the faults after channel abandonment. Maximum uplift rates of ~12 m/Myr over the last 2 Myr are found. In general, while rates of uplift are relatively low they are several-fold more rapid than the rates of fluvial incision prior to channel abandonment. This implies that westward channel flow was interrupted by uplift of topography above a blind NW-SE striking reverse fault that affects the Central Depression, an alluvial forearc basin. We consider also that shrinkage of the upstream catchment area by stream capture, promoted via headward erosion and lateral expansion of adjacent canyons (quebradas) could be a factor in the abandonment of the channels on Pampa de Tana. Our results highlight the polygenetic nature of this landscape and show that relatively minor amounts of fault displacement in hyperarid regions can have implications for stream network evolution. Even subtle topographic uplift upstream should be taken into account when fluvial deposits are used as proxies for long-term environmental conditions.
Identifier(s):DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.gloplacha.2019.103083
Citation Advice:Binnie, S.A. et al., 2020, in press, The origins and implications of paleochannels in hyperarid, tectonically active regions: The northern Atacama Desert, Chile, Global and Planetary Change, 103083, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.gloplacha.2019.103083
Responsible Party
Creator(s):Author: Steven Binnie
Author: Klaus Reicherter
Author: Pia Victor
Author: Gabriel González
Author: Ariane Binnie
Author: Karin Niemann
Author: Finlay Stuart
Author: Christoph Lenting
Author: Stefan Heinze
Author: Stewart Freeman
Author: Tibor Dunai
CRC1211 Topic:Surface
Related Sub-project(s):C5
Subject(s):CRC1211 Keywords: Geomorphology, Cosmogenic Nuclides, Tectonics
File Details
File Name:Binnie_2020_in_press.pdf
Data Type:Text
File Size:4867 kB (4.753 MB)
Date(s):Available: 2019-11-26
Mime Type:application/pdf
Data Format:PDF
Download Permission:OnlyCRC1211
General Access and Use Conditions:According to the CRC1211DB data policy agreement.
Access Limitations:According to the CRC1211DB data policy agreement.
North:-no map data
Measurement Region:Northern focus area
Measurement Location:--Northern focus area--
Specific Informations - Publication
Article Type:Journal
Source:Global and Planetary Change
Metadata Details
Metadata Creator:Steven Binnie
Metadata Created:2019-11-26
Metadata Last Updated:2020-04-08
Funding Phase:1
Metadata Language:English
Metadata Version:V43
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