Interactions between basement and cover during the evolution

Nelson Munoz, Reynaldo Charrier, Teresa Jordan


A reinterpretation of the structural style on the eastern Cordillera Domeyko and the adjacent Salar de Atacama Basin reveals the existence of west-dipping, high-angle, thrust-faults extending below the Cordillera Domeyko and Cordón de Lila, resulting from inversion of Cretaceous extensional faults, that transferred west-ward their displacement into the cover, generating fault-propagation and detachment folds. The most conspicuous of these structures is the Cordillera de la Sal. Contractional structures in the Cordillera Domeyko involved a Paleozoic crystalline, volcanic, and sedimentary, uplifted basement. Seismic reflection sections and available surface geology allows to study the interactions between development of the thick-skinned basement structures, sedimentation within the basin, and the thin-skinned deformation in the sedimentary cover. Geometry of the units in the basin continuously modified. Anticline growth above basement thrust-faults locally controlled syn-thrusting sequences, and generated progressive unconformities. Stratigraphic architecture in the basin seems to have been mainly controlled by tectonic activity. Tectonism generated accommodation space, altered base levels, and controlled source areas. The stratigraphy and geometry of the basin deposits resulted mainly from the succession of the following events: local extensional subsidence during the Early to Late Cretaceous, uplift of the Cordillera Domeyko during the latest Cretaceous to Miocene, uplift of the Puna, and subsidence probably caused by flexural response of the lithosphere during thrust-sheet loading, and sediment accumulation.

How to cite this article Munoz, N.; Charrier, R.; Jordan, T. 2010, Interactions between basement and cover during the evolution. Revista Geológica de Chile 29 (1): 55-80. [doi:]