The Salina del Fraile pull-apart basin, northwest Argentina
The Salina del Fraile in northwest Argentina is a Pliocene to Recent pull-apart basin developed at a releasing stepover along the NNE-SSW-trending El Fraile sinistral strike-slip fault. The basin is 35 km long and 12 km wide with a characteristic rhomboidal shape and is starved of synkinematic sediments thus providing unique 3D exposures. Prominent basin side-wall fault systems form scarps 700 m high and large tilted fault blocks form a terraced system along the southwest basin sidewall. A short-cut, basin-floor fault transects the pull-apart basin connecting the northwest strand of the El Fraile Fault to the southeast strand. An anticlinal positive flower structure in the northwest of the basin is a relict of early, segmented, fault growth typical of strike-slip fault evolution. Extension faults in the basin floor indicate a NE-SW intrabasinal extension direction during the Pliocene to Recent. The pull-apart basin accommodates an estimated 7.7 km of sinistral displacement along the El Fraile fault system. The morphology and fault architecture of the Salina del Fraile pull-apart can be directly compared to scaled sandbox models of strike-slip pull-apart basins. This first detailed analysis of the Salina del Fraile pull-apart basin provides a model for 3D architecture and evolution of similar pull-apart basins, and may serve as a template for the interpretation of other pull-apart systems.
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Intraplate Strike-Slip Deformation Belts
Intraplate strike-slip deformation belts are common tectonic features, particularly at convergent plate boundaries, where they are produced by both oblique convergence and continental indentation. These lithosphere-scale structures, which also occur in other geodynamic environments such as passive margins, are characterized by complex structural architectures, by the occurrence of large earthquakes, and by the fast uplift and/or subsidence of localized crustal sectors.
Intraplate strike-slip belts can also control the ascent and emplacement of deeply sourced magmas. In some cases, intraplate strike-slip belts link with oceanic fracture zones and transform faults, transferring transform shear from the ridges to the interior of the plates. This evidence has an important impact of the classical concept of transform faulting.
This volume contains 13 papers from an international field of contributors. Studies of intraplate strike-slip deformation belts from Africa, Antarctica, Eurasia, North America and South America are included.