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)
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.