GEOPHYSICS: Turn and Lift

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Science  25 Jan 2002:
Vol. 295, Issue 5555, pp. 587c
DOI: 10.1126/science.295.5555.587c

The western coast of South America trends to the north along much of Chile but then turns to the northwest near Arica, at the Peru-Chile borders. Abundant paleomagnetic data have indicated that this bend formed by rotation of this part of South America, presumably in association with subduction along its western margin. But the timing of this rotation—subduction has continued for tens of millions of years here—and its relation to the uplift of the Andes has been uncertain. Rousse et al. analyzed rocks with ages from 18 to 6 million years ago to resolve the timing and origin of the bend. Their data imply that most of the bending and rotation took place between 7 and 9 milllion years ago, at a time when the Andes were uplifted rapidly. — BH

Geology 30, 75 (2002).

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