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Morphotectonic and Orogenic Development of the Northern Andes of Colombia: A Low-Temperature Thermochronology Perspective

  • Sergio A. Restrepo-Moreno
  • David A. Foster
  • Matthias Bernet
  • Kyoungwon Min
  • Santiago Noriega
Chapter
Part of the Frontiers in Earth Sciences book series (FRONTIERS)

Abstract

Landscapes in mountain belts evolve through complex feedback mechanisms between internal and external processes. Modern orogenic belts, such as the Andes, are the result of millions of years of continuing internal and external processes. Therefore, mountain ranges are rich repositories of geomorphic and tectonic information. Established techniques in low temperature thermochronology (LTTC), e.g., fission-track and (U-Th)/He dating, present novel opportunities to quantitatively explore key morphotectonic processes in the upper crust, e.g., the cooling of rocks as they move toward the Earth’s surface during exhumation, via erosion, normal faulting, and/or crustal thinning. We address the Late Mesozoic-Cenozoic morphotectonic and orogenic history of the Northern Andes of Colombia using detailed compilations and analysis of existing LTTC datasets, in an effort to define the spatial distribution, timing, and magnitude of the main orogenic phases in the region, while providing an up-to-date morphotectonic picture of the Northern Andes.

Keywords

Colombia Northern Andes Meso-Cenozoic Geodynamic history Orogenic phases Uplift Landscape evolution Low-temperature thermochronology Fission-track dating Helium dating 

Abbreviations

AER

Age-elevation relationship for LTTC data

AFT

Apatite fission-track dating

A-PAZ

Apatite partial annealing zone for fission tracks in FT dating LTTC

AHe

Apatite uranium-thorium/helium dating

AP

Antioqueño Plateau

CC

Central Cordillera

CRFS

Cauca-Romeral Fault System

EC

Eastern Cordillera

FT

Fission-track dating

GOF

Goodness of fit in LTTC modeling

LA-ICP-MS

Laser ablation inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry

LTTC

Low-temperature thermochronology

Ma

Mega-annum

MTL

Mean track length in fission-track analyses

NAB

Northern Andes Block or NorAndean Block

PAZ

Partial annealing zone for fission tracks in FT dating LTTC

PCB

Panama-Chocó Block

PLOCO

From its definition in Spanish as “Provincia Litosférica Oceánica Cretácica Occidental”

PLCMG

From its definition in Spanish as “Provincia Litosférica Continental Mesoproterozoica Grenvilliana”

PRZ

Partial retention zone for helium in (U-Th)/He dating LTTC

SNSM

Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta

SNC

Sierra Nevada del Cocuy

WC

Western Cordillera

ZHe

Zircon uranium-thorium/helium dating

ZFT

Zircon fission-track dating

Zr-PAZ

Zircon partial annealing zone for fission tracks in FT dating LTTC

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sergio A. Restrepo-Moreno
    • 1
    • 2
  • David A. Foster
    • 3
  • Matthias Bernet
    • 4
  • Kyoungwon Min
    • 3
  • Santiago Noriega
    • 5
  1. 1.Facultad de Minas, Departamento de Geociencias y Medio AmbienteUniversidad Nacional de ColombiaMedellínColombia
  2. 2.Department of Geological SciencesUniversity of FloridaGainesvilleUSA
  3. 3.Department of Geological Sciences, University of FloridaGainesvilleUSA
  4. 4.ISTerre, Université Grenoble AlpsGrenobleFrance
  5. 5.Facultad de Minas, Departamento de Geociencias y Medio AmbienteUniversidad Nacional de ColombiaMedellínColombia

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