Project

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Chronology of surface erosion in the western Peruvian Andes in response to climate variations: Calibration by OSL dating and multiple cosmogenic nuclide analyses

English title Chronology of surface erosion in the western Peruvian Andes in response to climate variations: Calibration by OSL dating and multiple cosmogenic nuclide analyses
Applicant Schlunegger Fritz
Number 137516
Funding scheme Project funding (Div. I-III)
Research institution Institut für Geologie Universität Bern
Institution of higher education University of Berne - BE
Main discipline Geology
Start/End 01.01.2012 - 31.12.2014
Approved amount 560'649.00
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All Disciplines (3)

Discipline
Geology
Geochronology
Geochemistry

Keywords (5)

Climate and Erosion; Cosmogenic nuclides; OSL dating; Western Andes of Peru and Northern Chile; Erosion through time

Lay Summary (English)

Lead
Lay summary

This proposal seeks for funding to continue the research tasks for project 200020-121680 where we aim to (i) quantify denudation in response to precipitation rates, and to (ii) explore the relationships between erosion and climate for orbital to My time scales on the western Peruvian margin. These scopes are organized into three closely related projects (I-III).

Project I addresses the spatial relationships between denudation and precipitation in the Western Andean Escarpment of Peru. This will be investigated based on reconstructions of N-S trends of (i) optically stimulated luminescence (OSL) age and thickness of cut-and-fill terrace systems (ongoing PhD project A of M. Trauerstein) and (ii) 10Be-based erosion rates of bedrock (in-situ 10Be) and soil (meteoric 10Be) (follow-up PhD project B). OSL ages will be measured for cut-and-fill terrace systems along the Peruvian coast where preliminary analyses revealed correlations to orbital shifts of the Andean Jet. We plan to test whether terrace deposits are thickest (exceeding 50 m) near the leading edge of the Andean Jet as suggested by our previous studies. The reconstruction of relationships between N-S precipitation gradients and bedrock and soil erosion, which is the focus of the follow-up project starting in April 2013, will be established by the analyses of bedload samples for in-situ 10Be collected from rivers along the Peruvian coast, and by the measurements of suspension loads for meteoric 10Be collected from the identical streams. This task will be complemented by determination of the weathering and organic carbon flux from these basins using suspended and dissolved load chemistry.

Project II focuses on the temporal relationships between denudation and precipitation. We plan to explore how orbital and longer shifts in precipitation rates have influenced surface erosion. These relationships will be established based on (i) 10Be-based denudation rates measured for orbital time scales (ongoing PhD project C of T. Bekkadour), and (ii) paired 26Al/10Be, 21Ne/10Be as well as 21Ne/3He concentrations of older deposits, possibly as far back in time as the 20 Ma (follow-up PhD project D). T. Bekkadour is currently measuring orbital changes in paleo-denudation rates for dated terrace deposits in the Pisco valley. Likewise, he will quantify the relationships between bedrock weathering rates, temperature, and precipitation rate gradients for soil samples, as these mechanisms have modified the production of sediment through time. The follow-up PhD project, starting in January 2014, will first improve the chronological framework of Plio-Pleistocene conglomerate deposits with sources in the Western Cordillera using10Be/26Al burial ages, and then calculate paleo-denudation rates from these units using multiple cosmogenic nuclides. The final task focuses on the extension of the paleo-denudation rate measurements back in time, potentially to 20 Ma, with multiple stable nuclides.

Project III focuses on the improvement of the method by establishing a new set of inter-nuclide calibration data that will greatly improve the precision for the PhD projects. We intend to determine accurate scaling factors of production rates with altitude and latitude for western South America as well as to investigate the influence of variations in Earth's magnetic field on nuclide production rates through the Pleistocene. To that extend, we will measure concentrations of 26Al/10Be, 21Ne/10Be as well as 21Ne/3He for eroded surfaces between the Pacific and the Altiplano of northern Chile, and for non-eroded, but dated volcanic surfaces on the Altiplano of northern Chile as far south as 35°. Finally, a major task will be the calibration of the new Time-of-Flight noble gas mass spectrometer for the Andean samples. The new instrument, located at the Physical Institute, will provide the required sensitivity to accurately measure the small gas amounts expected here. Thus, project III prepares the intellectual and methodological framework to measure paleo-erosion rates further back in time and is thus designed for a PostDoc.



Direct link to Lay Summary Last update: 21.02.2013

Responsible applicant and co-applicants

Employees

Publications

Publication
Effects of sediment mixing on Be-10 concentrations in the Zielbach catchment, central-eastern Italian Alps
Savi S. et al. (2014), Effects of sediment mixing on Be-10 concentrations in the Zielbach catchment, central-eastern Italian Alps, in Quaternary Geochronology, 19, 148-162.
Paleo erosion rates and climate shifts recorded by Quaternary cut-and-fill sequences in the Pisco valley, central Peru
Bekaddour T. et la. (2014), Paleo erosion rates and climate shifts recorded by Quaternary cut-and-fill sequences in the Pisco valley, central Peru, in Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 390, 103-115.
Quantifying sediment supply at the end of the last glaciation: Dynamic reconstruction of an alpine debris-flow fan
Savi S. et al. (2014), Quantifying sediment supply at the end of the last glaciation: Dynamic reconstruction of an alpine debris-flow fan, in Geological Society of America Bulletin, 126, 773-790.
Small aliquot and single grain IRSL and post-IR IRSL dating of fluvial and alluvial sediments from the Pativilca valley, Peru
Trauerstein M. et al. (2014), Small aliquot and single grain IRSL and post-IR IRSL dating of fluvial and alluvial sediments from the Pativilca valley, Peru, in QUATERNARY GEOCHRONOLOGY, 22, 163-174.
Snow shielding factors for cosmogenic nuclide dating inferred from long-term neutron detector monitoring
Delunel R. et al. (2014), Snow shielding factors for cosmogenic nuclide dating inferred from long-term neutron detector monitoring, in QUATERNARY GEOCHRONOLOGY, 24, 16-26.
Terrestrial Radar Interferometric Measurement of Hillslope Deformation and Atmospheric Disturbances in the Illgraben Debris-Flow Catchment, Switzerland
Caduff R. et al. (2014), Terrestrial Radar Interferometric Measurement of Hillslope Deformation and Atmospheric Disturbances in the Illgraben Debris-Flow Catchment, Switzerland, in IEEE Geoscience and Remote Sensing Letters, 11, 434-438.
The influence of bedrock orientation on the landscape evolution, surface morphology and denudation (Be-10) at the Niesen, Switzerland
Chittenden H. et al. (2014), The influence of bedrock orientation on the landscape evolution, surface morphology and denudation (Be-10) at the Niesen, Switzerland, in Earth Surface Processes and Landforms, 39, 1153-1166.
The late Miocene to Holocene erosion pattern of the Alpine foreland basin reflects Eurasian slab unloading beneath the western Alps rather than global climate change
Baran R. Friedrich A. Schlunegger F. (2014), The late Miocene to Holocene erosion pattern of the Alpine foreland basin reflects Eurasian slab unloading beneath the western Alps rather than global climate change, in Lithosphere, 6, 124-131.
The role of climate-driven chemical weathering on soil production
Norton K.P. Molnar P. Schlunegger F. (2014), The role of climate-driven chemical weathering on soil production, in Geomorphology, 204, 510-517.
Transient sediment supply in a high-altitude Alpine environment evidenced through a 10Be budget of the Etages catchment (French Western Alps)
Delunel R. et al. (2014), Transient sediment supply in a high-altitude Alpine environment evidenced through a 10Be budget of the Etages catchment (French Western Alps), in Earth Surface Processes and Landforms, 39, 890-899.
Alpine Sedimentology: An introduction and tribute to Albert Matter and Daniel Bernoulli
Föllmi K. Schlunegger F. Weissert H. (2013), Alpine Sedimentology: An introduction and tribute to Albert Matter and Daniel Bernoulli, in Sedimentology, 60, 1-18.
Climatic imprint on landscape morphology in the western escarpment of the Andes
Trauerstein M. Norton K.P. Preusser F. Schlunegger F. (2013), Climatic imprint on landscape morphology in the western escarpment of the Andes, in Geomorphology, 194, 76-83.
Geomorphic coupling between hillslopes and channels in the Swiss Alps
Savi S. Schneuwly-Bollschweiler M. Bommer-Denns B. Stoffel M. Schlunegger F. (2013), Geomorphic coupling between hillslopes and channels in the Swiss Alps, in Earth Surface Processes and Landforms, 38, 959-969.
Headward retreat of streams in the Late Oligocene to Early Miocene Swiss Alps
Schlunegger F. Norton K.P. (2013), Headward retreat of streams in the Late Oligocene to Early Miocene Swiss Alps, in Sedimentology, 60, 85-101.
Hillslope Processes in Temperate Environments
Schlunegger F. Norton K.P. Caduff R. (2013), Hillslope Processes in Temperate Environments, Academic Press, San Diego.
Identification of erosional mechanisms during past glaciations based on a bedrock surface model of the central European Alps
Dürst Stuck M. Schlunegger F. (2013), Identification of erosional mechanisms during past glaciations based on a bedrock surface model of the central European Alps, in Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 384, 57-70.
Patterns and controls of sediment production, transfer and yield in the Illgraben
Bennett G. Molnar P. McArdell B.W. Schlunegger F. Burlando P. (2013), Patterns and controls of sediment production, transfer and yield in the Illgraben, in Geomorphology, 188, 68-82.
River loads and modern denudation of the Alps — A review
Hinderer M. Kastowski M. Kamelger A. Bartolini C. Schlunegger F. (2013), River loads and modern denudation of the Alps — A review, in Earth Science Reviews, 118, 11-44.
Water versus ice: The competing roles of modern climate and Pleistocene glacial erosion in the Central Alps of Switzerland
Schlunegger F. Norton K.P. (2013), Water versus ice: The competing roles of modern climate and Pleistocene glacial erosion in the Central Alps of Switzerland, in Tectonophysics, 602, 370-381.
Exploring fading in single grain feldspar IRSL measurements
Trauerstein M., Lowick S., Preusser F., Rufer D., Schlunegger F. (2012), Exploring fading in single grain feldspar IRSL measurements, in Quaternary Geochronology, 10, 327-333.
Lateral sediment sources and knickzones as controls on spatio-temporal variations of sediment transport in an Alpine river
Bekaddour T., Schlunegger F., Attal M., Norton K.P., Lateral sediment sources and knickzones as controls on spatio-temporal variations of sediment transport in an Alpine river, in Sedimentology, 60, 342-357.

Collaboration

Group / person Country
Types of collaboration
Prof. F. Preusser, Department of Physical Geography and Quaternary Geology, Stockholm University Sweden (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
Dr. N. Akçar, Institute of Geological Sciences, Univ. Bern Switzerland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
- Research Infrastructure
- Exchange of personnel
Dr. S. Carretier, Geosciences Environnement Toulouse (ex-LMTG) France (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
Dr. P. Kubik, Laboratory of Ion Beam Physics, ETHZ Switzerland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
- Research Infrastructure
Dr. K. P. Norton, Geography, Environment and Earth Sciences, Victoria University New Zealand (Oceania)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Research Infrastructure
- Exchange of personnel
Dr. M. Attal, Edinburgh Great Britain and Northern Ireland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
- Exchange of personnel
Prof. K. Mezger, Institute of Geological Sciences, University of Berne Switzerland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Research Infrastructure
- Exchange of personnel
Prof. I. Villa, Institute of Geological Sciences, University of Bern Switzerland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
- Research Infrastructure
- Exchange of personnel
PD Dr. I. Leya, Physics Department, Bern Switzerland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
- Research Infrastructure
- Exchange of personnel
Prof. T. Nägler, Institute of Geological Sciences, Univ. Bern Switzerland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Research Infrastructure

Communication with the public

Communication Title Media Place Year
Media relations: print media, online media Wie Wasser Steine zum Wachsen bringen Horizonte Rhaeto-Romanic Switzerland German-speaking Switzerland Italian-speaking Switzerland Western Switzerland 2013

Associated projects

Number Title Start Funding scheme
119785 Quantification of surface erosion at the northern foothills of the Alps of central Switzerland and identification of potential controls 01.04.2008 Project funding (Div. I-III)
148191 Tropical volcanic islands erosion and landscape evolution - Earth surface geochronology, morphometry and numerical modeling 01.10.2013 Ambizione
121680 Chronology of sediment accumulation and surface erosion in the western Peruvian Andes in response to climate variations during the Quaternary: cosmogenic nuclide analysis, OSL dating and modelling 01.01.2009 Project funding (Div. I-III)
120464 SedyMONT - Assessment of timescales of sediment discharge in selected sites of the Swiss Alps (Illgraben, Rotenbach, Erlenbach) (IP1) 01.05.2009 Project funding (special)
155892 Erosional history of the Western Andean Escarpment between Northern Peru and Northern Chile 01.01.2015 Project funding (Div. I-III)

Abstract

This proposal seeks for funding to continue the research tasks for project 200020-121680 where we aim to (i) quantify denudation in response to precipitation rates, and to (ii) explore the relationships between erosion and climate for orbital to My time scales on the western Peruvian margin. These scopes are organized into three closely related projects (I-III). Project I addresses the spatial relationships between denudation and precipitation in the Western Andean Escarpment of Peru. This will be investigated based on reconstructions of N-S trends of (i) optically stimulated luminescence (OSL) age and thickness of cut-and-fill terrace systems (ongoing PhD project A of M. Trauerstein) and (ii) 10Be-based erosion rates of bedrock (in-situ 10Be) and soil (meteoric 10Be) (follow-up PhD project B). OSL ages will be measured for cut-and-fill terrace systems along the Peruvian coast where preliminary analyses revealed correlations to orbital shifts of the Andean Jet. We plan to test whether terrace deposits are thickest (exceeding 50 m) near the leading edge of the Andean Jet as suggested by our previous studies. The reconstruction of relationships between N-S precipitation gradients and bedrock and soil erosion, which is the focus of the follow-up project starting in April 2013, will be established by the analyses of bedload samples for in-situ 10Be collected from rivers along the Peruvian coast, and by the measurements of suspension loads for meteoric 10Be collected from the identical streams. This task will be complemented by determination of the weathering and organic carbon flux from these basins using suspended and dissolved load chemistry.Project II focuses on the temporal relationships between denudation and precipitation. We plan to explore how orbital and longer shifts in precipitation rates have influenced surface erosion. These relationships will be established based on (i) 10Be-based denudation rates measured for orbital time scales (ongoing PhD project C of T. Bekkadour), and (ii) paired 26Al/10Be, 21Ne/10Be as well as 21Ne/3He concentrations of older deposits, possibly as far back in time as the 20 Ma (follow-up PhD project D). T. Bekkadour is currently measuring orbital changes in paleo-denudation rates for dated terrace deposits in the Pisco valley. Likewise, he will quantify the relationships between bedrock weathering rates, temperature, and precipitation rate gradients for soil samples, as these mechanisms have modified the production of sediment through time. The follow-up PhD project, starting in January 2014, will first improve the chronological framework of Plio-Pleistocene conglomerate deposits with sources in the Western Cordillera using10Be/26Al burial ages, and then calculate paleo-denudation rates from these units using multiple cosmogenic nuclides. The final task focuses on the extension of the paleo-denudation rate measurements back in time, potentially to 20 Ma, with multiple stable nuclides. Project III focuses on the improvement of the method by establishing a new set of inter-nuclide calibration data that will greatly improve the precision for the PhD projects. We intend to determine accurate scaling factors of production rates with altitude and latitude for western South America as well as to investigate the influence of variations in Earth's magnetic field on nuclide production rates through the Pleistocene. To that extend, we will measure concentrations of 26Al/10Be, 21Ne/10Be as well as 21Ne/3He for eroded surfaces between the Pacific and the Altiplano of northern Chile, and for non-eroded, but dated volcanic surfaces on the Altiplano of northern Chile as far south as 35°. Finally, a major task will be the calibration of the new Time-of-Flight noble gas mass spectrometer for the Andean samples. The new instrument, located at the Physical Institute, will provide the required sensitivity to accurately measure the small gas amounts expected here. Thus, project III prepares the intellectual and methodological framework to measure paleo-erosion rates further back in time is thus designed for a PostDoc.
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