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The Agrio fold-and-thrust belt is located between 37°S and 38°S latitude in the eastern part of the Neuquén Andes. The belt can be divided into a western inner sector and an eastern outer sector. The inner sector is characterized by a thick-skinned deformation style. The dominant structures are large anticlines produced by the inversion of half-grabens formed during the Triassic-Jurassic extension that initiated the Neuquén Basin. The outer sector is characterized by thin-skinned structures; recent studies have shown that these structures have been reactivated in a thick-skinned style. A long-standing question has been whether the deformation in this belt occurred in a continuous pulse or in two independent pulses. The analyses of synorogenic deposits, crosscutting relationships between magmatic rocks and sedimentary formations, and new single-crystal 40Ar/39Ar ages from volcanic rocks presented here indicate a minimum age of 102 Ma for the beginning of deformation in this belt and that deformation occurred in at least two pulses, one during the Lower to Middle Cretaceous, and a second one in the middle Miocene, with different degrees of propagation into the foreland.

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