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Extreme Sampling at the “Quebrada de Tiliviche”, Chile

During the course of the Chile Introduction Excursion of the CRC1211 that took place in March 2022, a small group of researchers conducted an unusual sampling trip to the “Quebrada de Tiliviche” Canyon, near the small village of Pisagua.

Damián López, Christian Tiede and Benedikt Ritter drove through a literally “chusca” nightmare in order to reach the canyon’s ridge. One of the trucks got stuck and it took them three hours of shovelling to free the vehicle and resume their way (Fig. 1).

The sampling itself also took a lot of effort. Steep slopes and walls where the targeted outcropping bedrock and deposited sediments were lying required the use of climbing gear in order to access the sampling points (Figs. 2-4).

At the sampling site the Tiliviche Canyon is up to 600 meters deep (Fig. 2), where presumably Oligocene to Miocene sediments are outcropping at the canyon walls within small intramontan basins. Oligocene to Miocene old sediments and tephra layers were sampled to reconstruct their time of deposition and paleoenvironment. Investigating these old Paleogene to Neogene sediments allow us to explore the evolution towards hyperarid conditions and tectonic movement of the Coastal Cordillera in relation to their sediment supplying catchments to the east (Western Cordillera).

Samples from the Quebrada de Tiliviche will complement our dataset from the Rio Loa further to the south, which were sampled together with the Geological Survey of Chile (Sernageomin) in July 2019.

 

Video: "Extreme sampling at the Tiliviche Canyon” (Credit: Benedikt Ritter)

 

Photo 1
Fig 1: Difficult access from the main road to the Quebrada de Tiliviche.
Photo: Damian Lopez

 

Photo 1
Fig 2: Panorama scenery of the Quebrada de Tiliviche with view to the Pacific Ocean. Intramontan basins are created by tectonic faults and filled up with clastic sediments.
Photo: Benedikt Ritter

 

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Fig 3: Descent with climbing gear to reach the precious samples.
Photo: Benedikt Ritter

 

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Fig 4: Ascent back carrying 25 kg of sample material on the climbing harness.
Photo: Benedikt Ritter



Contact

  Speaker:
Prof. Dr. Tibor J. Dunai
Institute of Geology and Mineralogy | University of Cologne
Zülpicher Str. 49b | 50674 Cologne
+49 (0)221 470-3229 | tdunai@uni-koeln.de
   
  Managing Director:
Christian Tiede
Institute of Geology and Mineralogy | University of Cologne

Zülpicher Str. 49b | 50674 Cologne
+49 (0)221 470-89833 | christian.tiede@uni-koeln.de

 _

  Co-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
   
  Webmaster:
Tim Schlüter
Institute of Geography | University of Cologne

Otto-Fischer-Str. 4 | 50674 Cologne
+49 (0)221 470-3735 | webmaster@sfb1211.de

 _

  Co-Speaker:
Prof. Dr. Dietmar Quandt
Nees Institute for Biodiversity of Plants | University of Bonn

Meckenheimer Allee 170 | 53115 Bonn
+49 (0)228 73-3315 | quandt@uni-bonn.de
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