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Abstract

This one-day field trip provides a sampling of the main components of the Andean deformation front in the Precordillera, and the Frontal and Main Cordilleras of the central Andes east of the drainage divide, which at these latitudes coincide with the political boundary of Argentina and Chile. The absence of Pliocene to Recent volcanic rocks in this transect over the southern hinge of the modern shallow subduction allows the older Andean rocks and their structures to be well seen. The structural consequences of shallow subduction are also well seen. The field trip stops provide a view of the Late Paleozoic sedimentary and magmatic rocks of the Frontal Cordillera, the Triassic volcanic and plutonic sequences and associated sedimentary rift sequences east of the Main Cordillera, the Mesozoic to Miocene arc magmatic and sedimentary basin sequences of the high Cordillera, and the Miocene foreland basin deposits to the east. The structure of the Triassic Cuyo rift and inverted normal faults is contrasted with both the Miocene thick-skinned contractional structures affecting the dominantly magmatic rocks of the Frontal Cordillera and the thin-skinned folds and thrusts of the Aconcagua belt affecting the Jurassic to Miocene sedimentary and volcanic rocks of the Principal Cordillera. Depending on climatic conditions, Cerro Aconcagua (6967 m above sea level), the highest peak in the Western and Southern hemispheres and the top of the Backbone of the Americas, can be viewed.

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