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Metamorphic and plutonic basement rocks and cover sequences of the Eastern Sierras Pampeanas, Argentina, have undergone multiple episodes of fault reactivation. Faults take advantage of mid- to late Cambrian, NW-SE-striking, steeply east-dipping foliations in Vendian-aged accretionary prism metasedimentary rocks. Foliations in peraluminous schists, paragneisses and migmatites are deflected into late Cambrian amphibolite-grade high-strain zones. Greenschist-grade mylonite zones and thick retrogressed ultramylonite zones with mainly NNW strikes, easterly dips, and east-over-west movement, affect the metasedimentary rocks and Ordovician-aged intrusive rocks and are presumably related to early Devonian accretion of terranes to the west of Gondwana. pseudotachylyte veins occur in nearly all mylonite zones. Brittle deformation during Carboniferous to Triassic time produced major pull-apart basins located above terrane boundaries. Outcrop patterns of Triassic to Cretaceous sedimentary rocks are consistent with transtensional pull-apart basins followed by Andean transpressional deformation. The theoretical basis for fault reactivation and production of ‘short cuts’ is examined in the context of Tertiary to Recent basin inversion faults. The inversion faults follow the Palaeozoic trends and produce the present-day NNW-oriented, deep sedimentary basins and intervening ranges of basement rocks.

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