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New GSA book studies the central Andes of Argentina and Northern Chile

New GSA memoir

Geological Society of America


IMAGE: This image shows nieves penitentes (~1.5-m tall) on north flank of Monte Pissis (6795 m [22,293 ft]), the second highest volcano on Earth and third highest peak in the western... view more

Credit: Photo by P.G. DeCelles, GSA Memoir 212.

Boulder, CO, USA - This new volume in The Geological Society of America's memoir series brings together results from a six-year, multidisciplinary study of the linkages among processes that formed the highest, widest part of the Andean Cordilleran orogenic belt in northern Argentina and Chile. The study was designed to test the idea that diverse processes operating in cordilleran-style orogenic belts may be linked in feedback and feed-forward relationships.

The central Andes provide an excellent place to study potential linkages among such processes. The region features a tectonically erosive forearc, protracted arc magmatism, a high-elevation hinterland plateau and strongly shortened retroarc thrust belt, and a Paleocene to recent foreland basin system. Surface geology records spatially complex shortening, extension, mafic to felsic magmatism, hinterland basin development, elevation change, and regional foreland basin migration.

Seismological and geodynamic studies demonstrate a complex, dynamic upper mantle marked by widespread foundering of dense lithosphere formed by magmatic and metamorphic processes beneath the hinterland. Diverse processes operating over the past 60 million years in the central Andes define a tectono-magmatic cycle with a periodicity of approx. 25 to 30 million years, providing a new framework for interpreting Cordilleran orogenic systems worldwide.

The chapters in the volume provide new data from the upper mantle to the surface, from the forearc to the active foreland basin, and employ a wide array of techniques and methods, including geophysics, petrology, geochronology and thermochronology, sedimentology, structural geology, geomorphology, paleoaltimetry, and geodynamic modeling. All four editors are from the University of Arizona in Tucson, Arizona, USA.


Individual copies of the volume may be purchased through The Geological Society of America online store,, or by contacting GSA Sales and Service,

Book editors of earth science journals/publications may request a review copy by contacting April Leo,

Geodynamics of a Cordilleran Orogenic System: The Central Andes of Argentina and Northern Chile
Peter G. DeCelles, Mihai N. Ducea, Barbara Carrapa, and Paul A. Kapp (editors)
Geological Society of America Memoir 212
MWR212, 490 p., $90.00; member price $63.00
ISBN 978-0-8137-1212-3
View the table of contents:

Contact: Kea Giles

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