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Project

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.

  1. The evolution of the alluvial fans was mainly controlled by climate variations. However, tectonic pulses also played a role; as for the coastal fans, sea level changes were the third controlling factor.
  2. The S-N gradient of increasing aridity between 25°S and 21°S is mirrored by spatial variations in the surface topography/morphology of the Coastal Cordillera.
  3. Differentiated climatic forcing since the late Neogene was responsible for phases of morphodynamic activity and stability. This resulted in a polygenetic formation of the alluvial fans with different patterns and architectures of the coastal fan complexes (Fig. 1-3), interrupted by periods of enhanced erosion.

Therefore, our research aims to understand the distribution, surface morphology, architecture, chronology and drainage basin characteristics of the alluvial fans along a S-N gradient, as well as the processes involved in their morphogenesis. For this, detailed, remote sensing-based geomorphological mapping will be combined with stratigraphic and sedimentological investigations of the fan deposits, as well as the establishment of chronologies using cosmogenic nuclide, luminescence and radiocarbon dating. The research shall be exemplified at three sites located in the common focus areas of the CRC, co-shared with the other clusters and their respective subprojects that complete the pursued S-N transect from arid to hyper-dry conditions. The research encompasses the river catchments within the Coastal Cordillera (source) on the one hand, and the sedimentation areas in the coastal plain (sink) on the other.



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Contact

Speaker:
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
  Coordinator:
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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