Field school NW Argentina
The history of the southern central Andes, including Earth’s second largest orogenic plateau and adjacent intermontane basins and ranges, impressively documents the effects of tectonics and climate on orogenic evolution in a non-collisional mountain belt. In particular, the development of orographic barriers with pronounced rainfall gradients, ongoing tectonism, and volcanism as well as erosion has created a complex environment that permits analyzing landscape evolution at various length and timescales. This unique setting with numerous datable volcanic horizons permits studying geomorphic and tectonic processes on timescales involving a few thousand to millions of years. The geologic archives of this setting (different generations of fault scarps, lake sediments, paleosols, rich sedimentary records, glacial landscapes) highlight the interplay between tectonic deformation, inherited structures and changing Cenozoic climate that have determined a highly diverse mountain belt evolution. Over the course of the field school, the participants will be familiarized with the principal fault systems, present-day and past sedimentary environments, present, and past climatic conditions, and the tectonic geomorphology of the NW Argentine Andes.
Photo by Gregor Lauer-Dünkelberg