Articles | Volume 14, issue 1
Research article
06 Jan 2023
Research article |  | 06 Jan 2023

A contribution to the quantification of crustal shortening and kinematics of deformation across the Western Andes ( ∼ 20–22° S)

Tania Habel, Martine Simoes, Robin Lacassin, Daniel Carrizo, and German Aguilar

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Cited articles

Aguilef, S., Franco, C., Tomlinson, A., Blanco, N., Álvarez, J., Montecino, D., Gardeweg, M., Campos, V., Rodríguez, C., and Maksaev, V.: Geología Del Área Quehuita-Chela, Regiones De Tarapacá Y Antofagasta, 1:100.000, 2019. 
Allmendinger, R. W.: Inverse and forward numerical modeling of trishear fault-propagation folds, Tectonics, 17, 640–656,, 1998. 
Allmendinger, R. W. and Shaw, J. H.: Estimation of fault propagation distance from fold shape: Implications for earthquake hazard assessment, Geology, 28, 1099–1102,<1099:EOFPDF>2.0.CO;2, 2000. 
Anderson, R. B., Long, S. P., Horton, B. K., Calle, A. Z., and Ramirez, V.: Shortening and structural architecture of the Andean fold-thrust belt of southern Bolivia (21 S): Implications for kinematic development and crustal thickening of the central Andes, Geosphere, 13, 538–558,, 2017. 
Armijo, R., Rauld, R., Thiele, R., Vargas, G., Campos, J., Lacassin, R., and Kausel, E.: The West Andean thrust, the San Ramon Fault, and the seismic hazard for Santiago, Chile, Tectonics, 29, TC2007,, 2010. 
Short summary
The Central Andes are one of the most emblematic reliefs on Earth, but their western flank remains understudied. Here we explore two rare key sites in the hostile conditions of the Atacama desert to build cross-sections, quantify crustal shortening, and discuss the timing of this deformation at ∼20–22°S. We propose that the structures of the Western Andes accommodated significant crustal shortening here, but only during the earliest stages of mountain building.