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Solid Earth An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Volume 6, issue 4
Solid Earth, 6, 1259-1276, 2015
https://doi.org/10.5194/se-6-1259-2015
© Author(s) 2015. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
Solid Earth, 6, 1259-1276, 2015
https://doi.org/10.5194/se-6-1259-2015
© Author(s) 2015. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

Research article 03 Dec 2015

Research article | 03 Dec 2015

Geometry of the inverted Cretaceous Chañarcillo Basin based on 2-D gravity and field data – an approach to the structure of the western Central Andes of northern Chile

F. Martínez1, A. Maksymowicz2, H. Ochoa1, and D. Díaz2 F. Martínez et al.
  • 1Department of Geology, FCFM, University of Chile, Plaza Ercilla 803, Santiago, Chile
  • 2Department of Geophysics, FCFM, University of Chile, Blanco Encalada 2002, Santiago, Chile

Abstract. This paper discusses an integrated approach that provides new ideas about the structural geometry of the NNE-striking, Cretaceous Chañarcillo Basin located along the eastern Coastal Cordillera in the western Central Andes of northern Chile (27–28° S). The results obtained from the integration of two transverse (E–W) gravity profiles with previous geological information show that the architecture of this basin is defined by a large NNE–SSE-trending and east-vergent anticline ("Tierra Amarilla Anticlinorium"), which is related to the positive reactivation of a former Cretaceous normal fault (Elisa de Bordos Master Fault). Moreover, intercalations of high and low gravity anomalies and steep gravity gradients reveal a set of buried, west-tilted half-grabens associated with a synthetic normal fault pattern. These results, together with the uplift and folding style of the Cretaceous synextensional deposits recognized within the basin, suggest that its structure could be explained by an inverted fault system linked to the shortening of pre-existing Cretaceous normal fault systems. Ages of the synorogenic deposits exposed unconformably over the frontal limb of the Tierra Amarilla Anticlinorium confirm a Late Cretaceous age for the Andean deformation and tectonic inversion of the basin.

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This paper discusses an integrated approach that provides new ideas about the structure of the eastern Coastal Cordillera in the western Central Andes of northern Chile (27º–28ºS). The integration of gravity and geological information shows that the architecture of this sector is related to the inversion of a Cretaceous rift system. Ages of the synorogenic deposits exposed unconformably over the inversion structure have confirmed a Late Cretaceous age for the Andean deformation in the region.
This paper discusses an integrated approach that provides new ideas about the structure of the...
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