Revista de la Asociación Geológica Argentina
versión On-line ISSN 1851-8249
SIAME, L.L.; SEBRIER, M.; BELLIER, O. y BOURLES, D.. Can cosmic ray exposure dating reveal the normal faulting activity of the Cordillera Blanca Fault, Peru?. Rev. Asoc. Geol. Argent. [online]. 2006, vol.61, n.4, pp. 536-544. ISSN 1851-8249.
The build-up of in situ-produced cosmogenic 10Be within bedrock scarps and escarpments associated to the Cordillera Blanca Normal Fault, Peru, was measured to evaluate, through Cosmic Ray Exposure dating, its normal faulting activity. The highest mountain peaks in Peru belong to the 210 km-long, NW- striking, Cordillera Blanca. Along its western border, the Cordillera Blanca Normal Fault is responsible for a vertical relief over 4.4 km, whose prominent 2 km high escarpment is characterized by ~1 km-high triangular facets corresponding to vertical displacements cumulated during the last 1-2 million years. At a more detailed scale, this fault system exhibits continuous geomorphic evidence of repeated displacements, underlined by 2 to 70 m-high scarps, corresponding to vertical displacements cumulated since Late Pleistocene and Holocene periods. Although microseismicity occurs along the Cordillera Blanca Normal Fault, no major historical or instrumental earthquake has been recorded since the beginning of the Spanish settlement in the 16th century. To evaluate the vertical slip rate along the major 90 km-long central segment of the Cordillera Blanca Normal Fault, the Quaternary fault escarpment (i.e., triangular facet), as well as the bedrock fault scarp, have been sampled for 10Be Cosmic Ray Exposure dating. Even if the uppermost part of the triangular facets have been resurfaced by the Last Glacial Maximum glaciers, our results allow to estimate a vertical slip-rate of 3±1 mm/yr, and suggest at least 2 seismic events during the last 3000 years.
Palabras clave : Cosmic ray exposure dating; Fault escarpment; Cordillera Blanca.