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Abstract

Large-scale vertical to subvertical clastic intrusions (as much as 67 m [219 ft] wide and >100 m [>330 ft] high) are present in Cretaceous strata (Cerro Toro Formation) of the Ultima Esperanza district, southern Chile. The injectites emanate from the margins of submarine-channel deposits that accumulated at water depths of 1000–2000 m (3300–6600 ft) in the Magallanes foreland basin. The remobilized sediment is very coarse, consisting of sandy matrix conglomerate, muddy matrix conglomerate, and poorly sorted sandstone. The injectite bodies sometimes bifurcate upward and are circular in plan view and, thus, are geometrically analogous in many respects to numerous injection features mapped seismically in the North Sea Basin.

The remobilization of coarse sediment was likely induced after the burial of the parent deposit to at least a few hundred meters. The controlling factors on injection are difficult to discern; however, it is probable that the highly energetic process involved gas charging of the source body and, potentially, a seismic event trigger associated with the uplift of the Patagonian Andes.

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