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Abstract

A series of Cerro Toro Formation outcrops, presented along depositional dip, are featured in this fieldguide. The outcrop belt of the conglomeratic member of the formation is traced in red on the satellite image at left; the interpreted paleogeographic position of the various outcrops featured in this fieldguide are highlighted in the schematic basin diagram presented below left (Hubbard et al., 2008). Coarse-grained material of the Cerro Toro Formation is attributed to deposition in a foreland basin axial channel belt setting, with some outcrops proposed to record sedimentation in tributary conduits that fed the axial system. Levee deposits are recognized in outcrops associated with the axial channel belt (at outcrops 8, 9), whereas previous workers have debated a channel-levee complex versus an incised channel origin for deposits in the tributary conduit (at outcrops 4, 5).

The conglomerate-rich portion of the formation has a stratigraphic thickness up to 1200 m; from north (paleogeographically proximal) to south (distal), an increase in amalgamation of channel bodies and complexes is notable. With a higher proportion of siltstone and shale present separating conglomeratic units in the north, the formation has succumbed to folding. The result is exceptional three-dimensional exposures of channel deposits in the vicinity of the Silla Syncline in the Torres del Paine National Park (see map at left and photo below). Further south in the Cordillera Manuel Señoret, amalgamated coarse-grained channel deposits are present in packages up to 600 m thick; these erosionally

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