Abstract

It has been shown in the accompanying paper that the Sub-Andean foreland can be subdivided longitudinally into a number of tectonostratigraphic domains. To test the hypothesis that changes in palaeo-depositional setting rely on the presence of a series of transverse zones of structural accommodation, data have been digitally compiled from across the South American continent. Spatial and temporal geological relationships have been analysed and evaluated as a means of identifying the position of tectonostratigraphic domain boundaries (structural accommodation zones), and patterns of subsidence and intraplate deformation. The results suggest that individually these structural accommodation zones represent a composite of deep crustal fractures which, on a regional scale, interlink to form a transcontinental belt or zone that can accommodate intraplate deformation during episodes of plate reorganization. Their strong spatial relationship with Mesozoic, intraplate, alkaline igneous activity suggests that they exerted an important control on lithospheric melt siting during Gondwana breakup. These localized zones of high heat flow have important implications for source rock maturity in the interior, Phanerozoic intracratonic basins of South America. On the South Atlantic margin, the majority of these crustal lineaments correlate with failed arms of triple-junction rifts and define the boundaries to tectonostratigraphic domains recognized along the South Atlantic Rift System.

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