From Andes to Atlantic: The Influence of Mountain Building on Climate, Drainage Patterns and Biodiversity

Tuesday, 16 December 2014
Maria Catharina Hoorn1, Mauricio A Bermudez2, Daniel Garcia-Castellanos3, Suzette G.A. Flantua1, Els van Soelen4, Emmy Lammertsma1, Millerlandy Romero-Baez5, Giovanni Bogota-Angel1, Farid Chemale6, Alexandre Antonelli7 and Jorge JP Figueiredo8, (1)University of Amsterdam, Institute for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Dynamics, Amsterdam, Netherlands, (2)Universidad Central de Venezuela, Laboratorios de Termocronología y Geomatemáticas, Caracas, Venezuela, (3)Instituto de Ciencias de la Tierra Jaume Almera, Barcelona, Spain, (4)Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research, Department of Marine Organic Biogeochemistry, Den Burg, Netherlands, (5)Palynological Consultant, Houston, United States, (6)Universidade de Brasilia, Instituto de Geociências, Brasilia, Brazil, (7)University of Gothenburg, Department of Plant and Environmental Sciences, Gothenburg, Sweden, (8)OGpar, Exploration, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Deep mantle and tectonic processes coupled with surface processes are both held responsible for the formation of the Andes and its adjacent foreland basins. These megascale processes on the western margin of South America directly influenced climate, drainages patterns and biodiversity across the continent and reached into the Atlantic Ocean. Here we highlight the most recent models that explain the relation between mantle and lithospheric processes with the geological, paleontological, and biodiversity records both in continental Amazonia and its marine extent, the Amazon deep-sea fan. New evidence on the geochemical signature of Neogene deposits in Amazonia, underpins increased influence of the Andes on drainage patterns from the Middle Miocene onwards. Furthermore, new records from the Amazon deep-sea fan illustrate the transcontinental effect of mountain building and climate change on sedimentation patterns and marine environmental changes in the Atlantic Ocean from the Late Miocene onwards. The case of the Andes-Amazonian sedimentary and biological system serves as a good example for similar tectono-sedimentary systems around the world and can encourage scientists from both geological and biological communities towards integrated research.