Tectonic Rotations Along the Western Central Andes

  • César Arriagada
Part of the Springer Earth System Sciences book series (SPRINGEREARTH)


Despite the evidence for protracted deformation, crustal shortening, and exhumation since at least 100 Ma along the Central Andes, the uplift of the Eastern Cordillera and Bolivian Orocline formation did not start until the Eocene–Oligocene. Moreover, the Central Andes also exhibit much younger recent surface uplift (e.g., 10 Ma) that would postdate significant shortening. Recent investigations were focused on the formation of the Bolivian Orocline by 2D Map-View Restoration of Non-plane Deformation experiments. Results from these 2D restorations support the hypothesis of the Paleogene formation of the Bolivian Orocline, due to differential shortening, concentrated in the Eastern Cordillera of Bolivia, Southern Peru, and northwestern Argentina. The “out of plane of cross-section” motion of material and the rotational components of deformation appear to be essential aspects for the formation of the Central Andes, although they are generally not included in models for orogenic systems evolution. One of the most remarkable results of the 2D restoration is the persistence of an “excess rotation” of 10–20° in northern Chile and 20–30° in Southern Peru which cannot be easily explained even if all the differential Paleogene shortening in the Eastern Cordillera and the Neogene shortening in the Sub-Andean zone were considered. Here, we discuss that a major proportion of rotation needs to be balanced in the forearc region by two major conjugate oblique shear zones (i.e., the Abancay Deflection and the Antofagasta–Calama Lineament). These shear zones are probably related to inherited lithospheric discontinuities and major changes in the magnitude of rotation likely occurring along these zones.


Oroclines Paleomagnetism Paleozoic terranes Forearc Shear zones Paleogene deformation Shortening gradients 


  1. Allmendinger RW, Jordan TE, Kay SM, Isacks BL (1997) The evolution of the Altiplano–Puna plateau of the Central Andes. Annu Rev Earth Planetary Sci 25:139–174CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Arriagada C, Roperch P, Mpodozis C (2000) Clockwise block rotations along the eastern border of the Cordillera de Domeyko, northern Chile (22°45′–23°30′S). Tectonophysics 326:153–171CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Arriagada C, Roperch P, Mpodozis C, Dupont-Nivet G, Cobbold PR, Chauvin A, Cortés J (2003) Paleogene clockwise tectonic rotations in the forearc of Central Andes, Antofagasta region, northern Chile. J Geophys Res 108(B1):2032. Scholar
  4. Arriagada C, Roperch P, Mpodozis C, Fernandez R (2006) Paleomagnetism and tectonics of the southern Atacama Desert (25°–28° S) Northern Chile. Tectonics 25 (TC4001).
  5. Arriagada C, Roperch P, Mpodozis C, Cobbold P (2008) Paleogene building of the Bolivian Orocline: Tectonic restoration of the central Andes in 2-D map view. Tectonics 27Google Scholar
  6. Arriagada C, Ferrando R, Córdova L, Morata D, Roperch P (2013) The MaipoOrocline: A first scale structural feature in the Miocene to Recent geodynamic evolution in the central Chilean Andes. Andean Geology 40(3):419–437CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Bascuñán S, Arriagada C, Le Roux J, Deckart K (2016) Unraveling the Peruvian Phase of the Central Andes: stratigraphy, sedimentology and geochronology of the Salar de Atacama Basin (22°30–23° S), northern Chile. Basin Res. Scholar
  8. Beck M (2004) The Central Andean rotation pattern: Another look. Geophys J Int 157Google Scholar
  9. Capitanio FA, Faccenna C, Zlotnik S, Stegman DR (2011) Subduction dynamics and the origin of the Andean orogeny and the Bolivian orocline. Nature 480:83–86. Scholar
  10. Carlotto V, Cárdenas J, Carlier G (2008) The lithosphere of Southern Peru: A result of the accretion of allochthonous blocks during the Mesoproterozoic. 7th International Symposium on Andean Geodynamics (ISAG), Extended Abstracts: 105–108Google Scholar
  11. Carrapa B, DeCelles PG (2015) Regional exhumation and kinematic history of the central Andes in response to cyclical orogenic processes. In: DeCelles PG, Ducea MN, Carrapa B, Kapp (eds) Geol Soc Am Mem 212.
  12. Eichelberger N, McQuarrie N (2015) Kinematic reconstruction of the Bolivian orocline. Geosphere 11(2):445–462CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Elger K, Oncken O, Glodny J (2005) Plateau-style accumulation of deformation: Southern Altiplano. Tectonics 24 (TC4020).
  14. Farías M, Charrier R, Carretier S, Martinod J, Fock A, Campbell D, Cáceres J, Comte D (2008). Late Miocene high and rapid surface uplift and its erosional response in the Andes of Central Chile (33°–35° S). Tectonics 27 (TC1005).
  15. Garzione CN, Hoke GD, Libarkin JC, Withers S, MacFadden B, Eiler J, Ghosh P, Mulch A (2008) Rise of the Andes. Science 320:1304–1307. Scholar
  16. Götze H-J and the Migra Group (1996) Group updates the gravity data base in the central Andes (20–29° S). EOS Trans AGU (Available as
  17. Horton BK (2005) Revised deformation history of the central Andes: Inferences from Cenozoic foredeep and intermontane basins of the Eastern Cordillera, Bolivia. Tectonics 24Google Scholar
  18. Isacks B (1988) Uplift of the Central Andean plateau and bending of the Bolivian orocline. J Geophys Res 93:3211–3231CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. James DE, Sacks S (1999) Cenozoic formation of the Central Andes: A geophysical perspective. S Soc Ec Geol, Special Publication 7: 1–25Google Scholar
  20. Kley J (1999) Geologic and geometric constraints on a kinematic model of the Bolivian orocline. J South Am Earth Sci 12:221–235CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Mamaní M, Tassara A, Wörner G (2007) Crustal domains in the Central Andes and their control on orogenic structures. 20th Colloquium Latin American Earth Sciences. Kiel, Germany: 27–28Google Scholar
  22. Martinod J, Husson L, Roperch P, Guillaume B, Espurt N (2010) Horizontal subduction zones, convergence velocity and the building of the Andes. Earth Planet Sci Lett 299(2010):299–309CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. McQuarrie N (2002) Initial plate geometry, shortening variations and evolution of the Bolivian orocline. Geology 30(10):867–870CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. McQuarrie N, Horton B, Zandt G, Beck S, DeCelles P (2005) Lithospheric evolution of the Andean fold-thrust belt, Bolivia, and the origin of the Central Andean plateau. Tectonophysics 399:15–37CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Müller JP, Kley J, Jacobshagen V (2002) Structure and cenozoic kinematics of the eastern Cordillera, southern Bolivia (21° S). Tectonics 21 (1037).
  26. O’Driscoll LJ, Richards MA, Humphreys ED (2012) Nazca–South America interactions and the late Eocene–late Oligocene flat-slab episode in the central Andes. Tectonics 31 (TC2013)Google Scholar
  27. Palacios C, Ramirez LE, Townley B, Solari M, Guerra N (2007) The role of the Antofagasta–Calama Lineament in ore deposit deformation in the Andes of northern Chile. Min Dep 42(3):301–308CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Pardo-Casas F, Molnar P (1987) Relative motions of the Nazca (Farallon) and South American plates since late Cretaceous time. Tectonics 6:233–248CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Ramos VA, Basei MA (1997) Gondwanan, Perigondwanan, and exotic terranes of southern South America. In: South American Symposium on Isotope Geology, Extended Abstracts: 250–252Google Scholar
  30. Roperch P, Carlotto V, Ruffet G, Fornari M (2011) Tectonic rotations and transcurrent deformation south of the Abancay deflection in the Andes of southern Peru. Tectonics 30 (TC2010)Google Scholar
  31. Sdrolias M, Müller RD (2006) Controls on back-arc basin formation. Geochem Geophys Geosyst 7 (Q04016).
  32. Sempere T, Carlier G, Soler P, Fornari M, Carlotto V, Jacay J, Arispe O, Neraudeau D, Cardenas J (2002) Late Permian—Middle Jurassic lithospheric thinning in Peru and Bolivia, and its bearing on Andean-age tectonics. Tectonophysics 345:153–181CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Somoza R, Singer S, Tomlinson A (1999) Paleomagnetic study of upper Miocene rocks from northern Chile: Implications for the origin of late Miocene-Recent tectonic rotations in the southern Central Andes. J Geophys Res 104(B10):22923–22936CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Somoza R, Tomlinson AJ, Zaffarana CB, Singer SE, Puigdomenech Negre CG, Raposo MI, Dilles JH (2015) Tectonic rotations and internal structure of Eocene plutons in Chuquicamata, northern Chile. Tectonophysics 654(18):113–130CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Tassara A, Götze HJ, Schmidt S, Hackney R (2006) Three-dimensional density model of the Nazca plate and the Andean continental margin. J Geophys Res 111 (B09404)Google Scholar
  36. Yáñez G, Ranero C, von Huene R, Díaz (2001) Magnetic anomaly interpretation across the southern central Andes (32°–34° S): The role of the Juan Fernández Ridge in the late tertiary evolution of the margin. J Geophys Res 106: 6325–6347Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Universidad de ChileSantiagoChile

Personalised recommendations