Crustal structure of norther Oaxaca terrane; The Oaxaca and caltepec faults, and the Tehuacan Valley. A gravity study.
Thursday, 18 December 2014
Northern Oaxaca terrane, southern Mexico, is bound by the Caltepec and Oaxaca faults to the west and east, respectively. These faults juxtapose the Oaxaca terrane against the Mixteca and Juarez terranes, respectively. The Oaxaca Fault also forms the eastern boundary of the Cenozoic Tehuacan depression. Several gravity profiles across these faults and the Oaxaca terrane (including the Tehuacan Valley) enables us to establish the upper crustal structure of this region. Accordingly, the Oaxaca terrane is downward displaced to the east in two steps. First the Santa Lucia Fault puts into contact the granulitic basamental rocks with Phanerozoic volcanic and sedimentary rocks. Finally, the Gavilan Fault puts into contact the Oaxaca terrane basement (Oaxaca Complex) into contact with the volcano-sedimentary infill of the valley. This gravity study reveals that the Oaxaca Fault system gives rise to a series of east tilted basamental blocks (Oaxaca Complex?). A structural high at the western Tehuacan depression accomadates the east dipping faults (Santa Lucia and Gavilan faults) and the west dipping faults of the Oaxaca Fault System. To the west of this high structural we have the depper depocenters. The Oaxaca Complex, the Caltepec and Santa Lucia faults continue northwestwards beneath Phanerozoic rocks. The faults are regional tectonic structures. They seem to continue northwards below the Trans-Mexican Volcanic Belt. A major E-W to NE-SW discontinuity on the Oaxaca terrane is inferred to exist between profiles 1 and 2. The Tehuacan Valley posses a large groundwater potential.