DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5027/andgeoV36n1-a01

Ophiolite Emplacement and the Effects of the Subduction of the Active Chile Ridge System: Heterogeneous Paleostress Regimes Recorded in the Taitao Ophiolite (Southern Chile).

Eugenio E. Veloso, Ryo Anma, Atsushi Yamaji

Abstract


The repeated north and southward migration of the Chile Triple junction, offshore the Peni­nsula de Taitao, is expected to have imposed contrasting stress fields in the forearc for the last 6 Ma because of changes in convergence direction and rate of subducting plates. NNW-SSE to E-W and minor NE-SW striking brittle faults developed in the plutonic units of the Mio-Pliocene Taitao Ophiolite, whereas NNE-SSW and minor NW-SE trending faults developed in its eastern border (Bahi­a Barrientos fault-zone). These brittle faults are studied to elucidate the style of ophiolite emplacement and the tectonic effects resulting from the alternated migration of the Chile Triple junction in the area. Analyses of heterogeneous fault-slip data on both areas suggest that faults were activated by different stress fields. Two different compressional stress fields were identified in the plutomc units (A and B), whereas three different stress fields, ranging from compressional to strike-slip, were identified in the Bahi­a Barrientos fault-zone (C, D and E). Calculated directions of Oj axes for A, C, D and E solutions are mostly E-W trending, roughly similar to the convergence direction of subducting plates, whereas that for B solution is counterclockwise rotated ca. 60° with respect to the previous E-W trend. Brittle structures related to solution B were attributed to an early deformation of the ophiolite, most probably developed shortly after its emplacement {ca. 6 Ma). These structures were further counterclockwise rotated, while new structures (related to solution A) developed in the plutomc units in order to absorb the continuous deformation. In the eastern margin of the ophiolite, the stress field divided inte compressional and strike-slip components. During periods of relatively strong compression (fast subduction of the Nazca pl­ate), the fault-zone experienced well defined compressional and strike-slip movements (solutions C and D). In contrast, during periods of relatively weak compression (slow subduction of the Antarctic plate), the fault-zone experienced a complex mixture of thrust and strike-slip movements (solution E). Thus, the wide range of calculated stress ratios for all solutions could be attributed to the alternated change in convergent velocity of the subducting plates beneath the Taitao Area.

How to cite this article Veloso, E., Anma, R., and Yamaji, A., 2010, Ophiolite Emplacement and the Effects of the Subduction of the Active Chile Ridge System: Heterogeneous Paleostress Regimes Recorded in the Taitao Ophiolite (Southern Chile).: Andean Geology, v. 36, no. 1, p. 3-16., doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.5027/andgeoV36n1-a01