Struth, L., Giachetta, E., Willett, S. D., Owen, L. A., and Tesón, E. ( 2020) Quaternary drainage network reorganization in the Colombian Eastern Cordillera Plateau. Earth Surf. Process. Landforms, https://doi.org/10.1002/esp.4846.
Dramatic drainage reorganization from initial longitudinal to transversal domains has occurred in the Eastern Cordillera of Colombia. We perform a regional analysis of drainage basin geometry and transformed river profiles based on the integral form of the slope‐area scaling, to investigate the dynamic state of drainage networks and to predict the degree of drainage reorganization in this region. We propose a new model of drainage rearrangement for the Eastern Cordillera, based on the analyses of knickpoint distribution, normalized river profiles, landforms characteristic of river capture, erosion rates and palaeodrainage data. We establish that the oldest longitudinal basin captured by the Magdalena river network was the Suárez Basin at ~409 ka, inferring the timing of abandonment of a river terrace using in‐situ produced cosmogenic 10Be depth profiles and providing a first estimation of incision rate of 0.07 mm/yr. We integrate published geochronologic data and interpret the last capture of the Sabana de Bogotá, providing a minimum age of the basin opening to the Magdalena drainage at ~38 ka. Our results suggest that the Magdalena Basin Increased its drainage area by integrating the closed basins from the western flank of the Eastern Cordillera. Our study also suggests that the Magdalena Basin is an aggressor compared to the basins located in the eastern flank of the orogen and provides a framework for examining drainage reorganization within the Eastern Cordillera and in similar orogenic settings. The results improve our understanding of headward integration of closed basins across orogenic plateaus.