Low temperature thermo-chronology (LTT) using multiple dating techniques, including (U-Th)/He in apatite and zircon and fission track dating in apatite (AFT) and zircon (ZFT) has been positioned as a fundamental tool for modeling and understanding the tectonic thermal history of crustal blocks. Numerical modeling of LTT data through softwares such as QtQT®, HefTy®   and the 3D thermo kinematic code Pecube® allow us to infer thermal histories using multiple samples usually collected across vertical profiles. The 3D code, additionally, allows the incorporation of thermo-structural elements within the crust, such as fault position, isostasy, flexural and thermal parameters, topographic relief amplification variation, among others. Forward thermal modeling can be used to test proposed thermal history models and predict thermo-chronometrical ages while inverse thermal modeling finds a best-fit thermal history that provides a good statistical match (misfit) between observed and predicted thermochronological age.

The Northern Andes has a complex tectono-thermal evolution, mostly controlled by the interaction of the Nazca/Farallon, South America and Caribbean plate, at least since the Cretaceous time. This complex interaction resulted in accretional and collisional event. Uplift discrete events through the Andean orogeny can be studied and evaluated through thermo-kinematic modelling from vertical profiles within the northern Andes in Colombia.

Results presented in this contribution are based on vertical topographic sampling, along different transects within the Colombian northern Andes, used to construct regional age-elevation relationships using the apatite and zircon (U-Th)/He (AHe and ZHe, respectively) in individual  grains.  This study presents (1) New thermo-chronological data,  (2) inverse modeling for the vertical transect El Cairo-Abejorral and Belmira zones within the Central Cordillera backstop domain ; (3) Inverse modeling for the Mandé Batholith within the Panama-Chocó tectonic block.


  • Vinasco, Cesar (1); Bermudez, Mauricio (2); Botero, Manuela (3); Restrepo, Sergio (1)
  • cvinasco@unal.edu.co; maberce@gmail.com; bgmanuela@unal.edu.co; sergiorm@unal.edu.co