Tracking exhumation of Andean ranges bounding the Middle Magdalena Valley Basin, Colombia

Junsheng Nie, Brian K. Horton, Andrés Mora, Joel E. Saylor, Todd B. Housh, Jorge Rubiano, Julian Naranjo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

72 Scopus citations


The shortening history of the Andes is important for understanding retroarc deformation along convergent margins and forcing mechanisms of Cenozoic climate. However, the timing of uplift in the northern Andes is poorly constrained, with estimates ranging from Cretaceous to Pliocene. Detrital zircon U-Pb ages from the Middle Magdalena Valley Basin in Colombia reveal two provenance shifts during Cenozoic time. The fishrst shift occurs between early and late Paleocene strata, where U-Pb results show a switch from Proterozoic-dominated to Phanerozoic-dominated age spectra. We attribute this change to uplift-related exhumation of the Central Cordillera. The second shift occurs between middle-late Eocene and late Oligocene strata, where increased Grenville ages and diminished Mesozoic ages can be linked to uplift of the Eastern Cordillera. Our results show that signifishcant pre-Neogene deformation affected the northern Andes, underscoring the potential importance of Andean uplift on the dynamics of Paleogene climate.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)451-454
Number of pages4
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2010

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geology


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