Abstract

The Mesozoic Austral Basin of Patagonia, in southwestern Gondwana, experienced a major tectonic segmentation during Aptian times. Sometime between 121 and 118 Ma (Aptian), the northern part of the Austral Basin, known as the Aisén Basin or Río Mayo Embayment, was inverted, with the sediments overlain by calc-alkaline subaerial volcanic rocks of Aptian to Maastrichtian age. In the southern segment of the Austral Basin, known as the Magallanes Basin, predominantly marine sediments accumulated until Cenozoic times in a back-arc position, relative to a magmatic arc located to the west. The subduction-related N–S-trending volcanic chains of both segments were geographically displaced during Aptian to Late Cretaceous times. In the Aisén segment north of ~49–50° S, the volcanic chain was located further east than the coeval arc in the Magallanes segment. A transform fault connected the trenches of both segments, with the Aisén segment dipping at a shallower angle than the Magallanes segment.

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