Transient uplift of a long-term quiescent coast inferred from raised fan delta sediments

Madella, Andrea; Delunel, Romain; Oncken, Onno; Szidat, Sönke; Schlunegger, Fritz (2017). Transient uplift of a long-term quiescent coast inferred from raised fan delta sediments. Lithosphere, 9(5), pp. 796-802. Geological Society of America 10.1130/L659.1

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We present the first example of a short-term uplift transient within the long-term stagnant forearc of the Arica Bend, northernmost Chile. We date a storm deposit embedded into fan delta sediments, which were deposited close to sea level and are now located ~40 m higher. The radiocarbon age is ca. 10 ka, yielding an average uplift rate of ~4 mm/yr. During the Holocene, the section has been dissected by the Lluta River, the long profile of which shows geomorphic response to coastal uplift. However, the coast of the Arica Bend is characterized by million- year-scale relative subsidence and current global positioning system surveyed quiescence. We therefore interpret the inferred uplift signal to represent a transient increase in uplift rates throughout the Holocene. Similar short-term transients have been globally documented in relation to various subduction zone settings, although their causes still remain a matter of debate and need further investigation. We propose that periods of increased surface uplift may also occur in long-term quiescent forearcs, possibly due to temporal variations of plate interface properties (i.e., strength and/or seismic locking) that induce thickening beneath the coast.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


10 Strategic Research Centers > Oeschger Centre for Climate Change Research (OCCR)
08 Faculty of Science > Department of Chemistry, Biochemistry and Pharmaceutical Sciences (DCBP)
08 Faculty of Science > Institute of Geological Sciences

UniBE Contributor:

Madella, Andrea, Delunel, Romain, Szidat, Sönke, Schlunegger, Fritz


500 Science > 550 Earth sciences & geology
500 Science > 570 Life sciences; biology
500 Science > 540 Chemistry




Geological Society of America




Andrea Madella

Date Deposited:

03 Aug 2017 11:57

Last Modified:

05 Dec 2022 15:06

Publisher DOI:





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