Machu Picchu, Peru, After Accelerated Uplift

Steven Dutch, Professor Emeritus, Natural and Applied Sciences, University of Wisconsin - Green Bay

Even though the Andes were already a high mountain range, movements of the crust lifted them even higher. The Urubamba began cutting its valley deeper, much faster than the small streams flowing down the hillsides could keep pace. The Urubamba cut a deep, vertical sided slot in the rocks. These drawings show a couple of landslides, which would very likely have happened because of the extremely steep valley walls. Collapse of the valley walls may have helped create the steep cliffs along the valley today.

The ruins of Machu Picchu are at 13o 09' 48" S, 72o 32' 46" W. The sharp peak beyond the ruins is at 13o 09' 20" S, 72o 32' 49" W. The steep rounded ridge beyond the river is at 13o 10' 53" S, 72o 31' 37" W.

Machu Picchu, Peru
Machu Picchu, Peru, A Few Million Years Ago

Present Scenes

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Possible Coloring

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Created 25 November 2005, Last Update 15 January 2020