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Durham University

Institute of Medieval and Early Modern Studies (IMEMS)

Members

The list below shows Durham University research staff who are members of IMEMS. Click the member's name to see a more detailed biography and department.

We also welcome anyone from outside the University with an interest in our work to join. Membership is free of charge. You will receive invitations to our programme of events, with a weekly emails digest about what is happening in the Insitute and further afield. To join IMEMS contact: admin.imems@durham.ac.uk

Publication details for Prof Mark Allen

Scott, E.M., Allen, M.B., Macpherson, C.G., McCaffrey, K.J.W., Davidson, J.P., Saville, C. & Ducea, M.N. (2018). Andean surface uplift constrained by radiogenic isotopes of arc lavas. Nature Communications 9: 969, 1-8.

Author(s) from Durham

Abstract

Climate and tectonics have complex feedback systems which are difficult to resolve and remain controversial. Here we propose a new climate-independent approach to constrain regional Andean surface uplift. 87Sr/86Sr and 143Nd/144Nd ratios of Quaternary frontal-arc lavas from the Andean Plateau are distinctly crustal (>0.705 and <0.5125, respectively) compared to non-plateau arc lavas, which we identify as a plateau discriminant. Strong linear correlations exist between smoothed elevation and 87Sr/86Sr (R2 = 0.858, n = 17) and 143Nd/144Nd (R2 = 0.919, n = 16) ratios of non-plateau arc lavas. These relationships are used to constrain 200 Myr of surface uplift history for the Western Cordillera (present elevation 4200 ± 516 m). Between 16 and 26°S, Miocene to recent arc lavas have comparable isotopic signatures, which we infer indicates that current elevations were attained in the Western Cordillera from 23 Ma. From 23–10 Ma, surface uplift gradually propagated southwards by ~400 km.