Preliminary Depositional and Provenance Records of Mesozoic Basin Evolution and Cenozoic Shortening in the High Andes, La Ramada Fold-Thrust Belt, Southern-Central Andes (32-33°S)

Tuesday, 15 December 2015
Poster Hall (Moscone South)
Chelsea Mackaman-Lofland, University of Texas at Austin, Austin, TX, United States, Brian K Horton, Department of Geological Sciences and Institute for Geophysics, Jackson School of Geosciences, University of Texas at Austin, Austin, TX, United States, Facundo Fuentes, Yacimientos Petrolíferos Fiscales (YPF), Buenos Aires, Argentina, Kurt N Constenius, University of Arizona, Department of Geosciences, Tucson, AZ, United States, Ryan McKenzie, Yale University, Geology and Geophysics, New Haven, CT, United States and Patricia M Alvarado, CONICET and Universidad Nacional de San Juan, Departamento de Geofísica y Astronomía, FCEFN, San Juan, Argentina
The Argentinian Andes define key examples of retroarc shortening and basin evolution above a zone of active subduction. The La Ramada fold-thrust belt (RFTB) in the High Andes provides insights into the relative influence and temporal records of diverse convergent margin processes (e.g. flat-slab subduction, convergent wedge dynamics, structural inversion). The RFTB contains Mesozoic extensional basin strata deformed by later Andean shortening. New detrital zircon U-Pb analyses of Mesozoic rift sediments reveal: (1) a dominant Permo-Triassic age signature (220-280 Ma) associated with proximal sources of effective basement (Choiyoi Group) during Triassic synrift deposition; (2) upsection younging of maximum depositional ages from Late Triassic through Early Cretaceous (230 to 100 Ma) with the increasing influence of western Andean arc sources; and (3) a significant Late Cretaceous influx of Paleozoic (~350-550 Ma) and Proterozoic (~650-1300 Ma) populations during the earliest shift from back-arc post-extensional subsidence to upper-plate shortening. The Cenozoic detrital record of the Manantiales foreland basin (between the Frontal Cordillera and Precordillera) records RFTB deformation prior to flat-slab subduction. A Permo-Triassic Choiyoi age signature dominates the Miocene succession, consistent with sources in the proximal Espinacito range. Subordinate Mesozoic (~80-250 Ma) to Proterozoic (~850-1800 Ma) U-Pb populations record exhumation of the Andean magmatic arc and recycling of different structural levels in the RFTB during thrusting/inversion of Mesozoic rift basin strata and subjacent Paleozoic units. Whereas maximum depositional ages of sampled Manantiales units cluster at 18-20 Ma, the Estancia Uspallata basin (~50 km to the south) shows consistent upsection younging of Cenozoic populations attributed to proximal volcanic centers. Ongoing work will apply low-temperature thermochronology to pinpoint basin accumulation histories and thrust timing.