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Miocene–Pliocene shortening, extension, and mafic magmatism support small-scale lithospheric foundering in the central Andes, NW Argentina

By
Lindsay M. Schoenbohm
Lindsay M. Schoenbohm
Department of Chemical and Physical Sciences, University of Toronto Mississauga, Mississauga, ON L5L 1C6, Canada
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Barbara Carrapa
Barbara Carrapa
Department of Geosciences, University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona 85721, USA
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Published:
January 01, 2015

Lithospheric foundering may be a fundamental phenomenon in diverse tectonic settings and has been shown to affect surface deformation, subsidence, and uplift. In the central Andes, lithospheric removal has been proposed to have acted at the scale of the whole orogenic system, at a smaller scale, and cyclically. Although geophysical and geochemical data have led workers to infer lithospheric foundering beneath the central Andes, there is no consensus on the timing, magnitude, and location of such foundering events. New field mapping, sedimentology, and 40Ar/39Ar and U-Pb geochronology from the Puna Plateau in NW Argentina document the timing and spatial distribution of basaltic magmatism, contraction, and basin formation, and subsequent extension, all of which are predicted results of small-scale lithospheric drips. Our data are consistent with the formation of at least two small-scale (50–100 km) foundering events, alternating between the northern and southern Puna Plateau. Such “driplets” could be common in cordilleran systems and other plateaus and can contribute to significant recycling of lithosphere without causing extensive exhumation and surface uplift.

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GSA Memoirs

Geodynamics of a Cordilleran Orogenic System: The Central Andes of Argentina and Northern Chile

Peter G. DeCelles
Peter G. DeCelles
Department of Geosciences, University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona, USA
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Mihai N. Ducea
Mihai N. Ducea
Department of Geosciences, University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona, USA, and Universitatea Bucuresti, Facultatea de Geologie Geofizica, Strada N. Balcescu Nr 1, Bucuresti, Romania
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Barbara Carrapa
Barbara Carrapa
Department of Geosciences, University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona, USA
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Paul A. Kapp
Paul A. Kapp
Department of Geosciences, University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona, USA
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Geological Society of America
Volume
212
ISBN print:
9780813712123
Publication date:
January 01, 2015

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