We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. By continuing to browse this repository, you give consent for essential cookies to be used. You can read more about our Privacy and Cookie Policy.

Durham Research Online
You are in:

Andean surface uplift constrained by radiogenic isotopes of arc lavas.

Scott, E.M. and Allen, M.B. and Macpherson, C.G. and McCaffrey, K.J.W. and Davidson, J.P. and Saville, C. and Ducea, M.N. (2018) 'Andean surface uplift constrained by radiogenic isotopes of arc lavas.', Nature communications., 9 . p. 969.


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.

Item Type:Article
Full text:(AM) Accepted Manuscript
Available under License - Creative Commons Attribution.
Download PDF
Full text:(VoR) Version of Record
Available under License - Creative Commons Attribution.
Download PDF
Publisher Web site:
Publisher statement:Open Access This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article’s Creative Commons license and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this license, visit
Date accepted:24 January 2018
Date deposited:11 January 2018
Date of first online publication:06 March 2018
Date first made open access:07 March 2018

Save or Share this output

Look up in GoogleScholar