Quaternary tectonics along oblique deformation zones in the Central Andean retro-wedge between 31°30′S and 35°S

J. M. Cortés, C. M. Terrizzano, M. M. Pasini, M. G. Yamin and A. L. Casa
Año de la publicación: 
2 014
Geological Society, London, Special Publications, 399, 267-292, 5 February 2014,
The distribution of the Quaternary deformation in the outer retro-wedge of the Andes (31°30′–35°S) is controlled by the subduction geometry, the position of the structural front, and the location of oblique pre-Cenozoic mechanical anisotropies. In the Southern Precordillera, Quaternary structures tend to group along the Barreal–Las Peñas deformation zone with a NW to NNW trend. This Cenozoic belt (31°30′–32°40′S) developed on the northern segment of the Triassic Cuyo Basin and broadened laterally during the Quaternary. New radiocarbon ages on dam deposits confirm Holocene tectonic activity on the northwestern edge. The oldest ages of dam deposits are 5810±90 a BP (Cabeceras Creek) and 810±50 a BP (Dolores Creek). Palaeoseismological and seismic data suggest active tectonic growth on the NW and SE extremes. Quaternary tectonics has contributed to modifying the relief along this oblique belt. This contribution is evident from the tectonic uplift of blocks (minimum 90–120 m in the Barreal block), the initial development of intermontane basins (Pampa de los Burros Basin), the Quaternary rejuvenation of tectonic depressions (at least 32–37 m of tectonic subsidence in the Vizcacheras half-graben) and the incipient development of low-relief morphotectonic units by soft-linkage of Quaternary structures.