for dating glacier fluctuations in the Patagonian Andes.
Six glaciers were studied along the Patagonian Andes.
Orogenic plateau formation and mountain building in the Andes created high topography and relief in the region, leading to an environment conducive to physical erosion.
Using zircon (U-Th)/He thermochronology to capture the thermal history of a vertical column of rock, my research seeks to relate the results to erosional history of the upper crust in the Eastern Cordillera, a link which reflects tectonic activity.
Therefore, we developed two lichenometric curves for dating glacier fluctuations in wetter and drier sites in the Patagonian Andes during the past 450 yrs.
Application of the developed curves to moraine dating allowed us to complement glacial chronologies previously obtained by tree-ring analyses.
At the eastern margin itself, high precipitation and steep slopes drive high erosion rates.
For example, in the Rio Iryua basin, recent climate change and human disturbance have led to a high denudation rate of 3-6 mm/a in the steep headwaters aided by landslide-triggered mudflows (Rahl et al., unpublished).
It is likely accurate to limit the effects of physical erosion in the Altiplano-Puna to within a few hundred kilometers of the high elevation and relief of the Eastern Cordillera in a study of uplift and erosion dynamics (Reiners et al., 2015).
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Eastward growth of the Altiplano-Puna implies a complicated relationship between uplift and erosion at the plateau margin.
The interior of the plateau is dry due to a rain shadow effect resulting from high topography to the east and has little relief.