Abstract

We have conducted a structural study of both the basement-involved Malargüe fold-and-thrust belt (MFTB) and the active San Rafael Block (SRB), which are located in the Central Andes at latitude 34–36°S. Based on several field examples located both in the inner and frontal part of belt and from the distal foreland zone, we focus on the relationships between basement and cover deformation with respect to the known palaeogeography and structural inheritance. In several zones, we point out similarities in the structural and sedimentary responses to Andean shortening. The recent morphologic response has also been investigated through the analysis of active deformation along the eastern border of the SRB. We show that these structural and sedimentary processes are continuous in time and space since they can be applied in the various parts of the fold belt and also at different stages of fold-and-thrust-belt building as well. Finally, we propose the illustration of those mechanisms by complete cross-section along the Rio Grande valley and a possible kinematic scenario of deformation propagation.

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