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Three main N-S trending geomorphic zones constitute the study area: the Coastal Cordillera, Central Depression and the western Andean flank rising to the Precordillera (Fig. 1). Due to the widespread coincidence in  direction of these zones with climate zoning (particularly between 19º and 23ºS, Fig. 1) and/or the source areas of their sediments, the Earth surface features and sediments in the Costal Cordillera have the greatest propensity to record the history of extreme hyperaridity and those in the Central Depression and along the western Andean Flank the precipitation fluctuations through time in the Precordillera.

Project C2


Transport and deposition: Deciphering the evolution of the alluvial fans between 21°S and 25°S – the interplay between climatic and tectonic control

Research areas: Physical Geography

Principal investigators: Prof. Dr. Helmut Brückner, Prof. Dr. Frank Lehmkuhl

The project focuses on the alluvial fans on the western side of the coastal cordillera.

Project C3


Soil dynamics and hillslope processes

Research areas: Physical Geography

Principal investigators: Prof. Dr. Olaf Bubenzer

Subproject C03 focuses on the identification, characterization, and quantification of past and present hillslope processes and their thresholds in the arid and hyper-arid regions of the Atacama Desert. Key questions include the geomorphological and sedimentological characterisation of different hillslopes, the evolution of various slope forms, and the continuity/discontinuity and the magnitude/frequency of the related processes.

Project C4


Gypsum desert & atmospheric deposition

Research areas: Geochemistry, Mineralogy and Crystallography

Principal investigators: Prof. Dr. Petra Becker-Bohatý, Prof. Dr. Tibor J. Dunai, Prof. Dr. Sandro Jahn, Prof. Dr. Michael Staubwasser

Gypsum is the most dominant mineral in hyperarid Atacama soils. CaSO4 ⋅2H2O (and other compounds CaSO4 ⋅ xH2O, x = 0...2), together with other water-soluble minerals such as nitrates, play an essential role concerning weathering of soil and rocks, water penetration and trapping in the soil and soil dynamics.

Project C5


Tectonic geomorphology: Adaptation of drainage to tectonic forcing

Research areas: Tectonic Geomorphology, Fluvial Geomorphology, Landscape evolution, Geochronology

Principal investigators: Dr. Steven Binnie, Prof. Dr. Klaus Reicherter, Dr. Pia Victor

This project aims to investigate how tectonic uplift has influenced drainage evolution in northern Chile. Surface displacement due to faulting can reroute and force reorganization of stream networks. This process has been shown to be prevalent throughout northern Chile, where relatively minor amounts of fault slip can result in channel avulsion. We propose to utilize both established and novel geochronological techniques to date stream channel diversions at multiple fault sites throughout the Atacama Desert.

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Prof. Dr. Tibor J. Dunai
Institute of Geology and Mineralogy | University of Cologne
Zülpicher Str. 49b | 50674 Cologne
+49-(0)221-470 2634 | tduanai@uni-koeln.de
Dr. Maximilian Müller
Institute of Geography | University of Cologne

Otto-Fischer-Str. 4 | 50674 Cologne
+49-(0)221-470 2241 | maximilian.mueller@uni-koeln.de
Deputy Speaker:
Prof. Dr. Martin Melles
Institute of Geology and Mineralogy | University of Cologne

Zülpicher Str. 49a | 50674 Cologne
+49-(0)221-470 2262 | mmelles@uni-koeln.de
© 2017 CRC1211 - Earth - Evolution at the Dry Limit

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