Neogene Retroarc Foreland Basin Evolution, Sediment Provenance, and Magmatism in Response to Flat Slab Subduction, Western Argentina
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Understanding the effects of flat slab subduction on mountain building, arc magmatism, and basin evolution is fundamental to convergent‐margin tectonics, with implications for potential feedbacks among geodynamic, magmatic, and surface processes. New stratigraphic and geochronological constraints on Cenozoic sedimentation and magmatism in the southern Central Andes of Argentina (31°S) reveal shifts in volcanism, foreland/hinterland basin development, sediment accumulation, and provenance as the retroarc region was structurally partitioned during slab flattening. Detrital zircon U‐Pb age distributions from the western (Calingasta basin), central (Talacasto and Albarracín basins), and eastern (Bermejo foreland basin) segments of the retroarc basin system preserve syndepositional volcanism and orogenic unroofing of multiple tectonic provinces. Initial shortening‐related exhumation of the Principal Cordillera at 24–17 Ma was recorded by the accumulation of distal eolian deposits bearing Oligocene–Eocene zircons from the Andean magmatic arc. The Calingasta basin chronicled volcanism and basement shortening in the Frontal Cordillera at ~17–11 Ma, as marked by an upward coarsening succession of fluvial to alluvial fan deposits with a sustained zircon U‐Pb age component that matches pervasive Permian‐Triassic bedrock in the hinterland. An ~450 km eastward inboard sweep of volcanism at 11 Ma coincided with the inception of flat slab subduction, and subsequent thin‐skinned shortening in the Precordillera fold‐thrust belt that exhumed wedge‐top deposits and induced cratonward (eastward) advance of flexural subsidence into the Bermejo foreland basin. This foreland basin was structurally partitioned as basement uplifts of the Sierras Pampeanas transformed a fluvial megafan sediment routing network into smaller isolated alluvial fan systems fed by adjacent basement blocks.
Flat slab subduction; Foreland basin; Argentina; Andes; Detrital zircon U-Pb geochronology; Arc magmatism
Tectonics and Structure
Capaldi, T. N.,
Horton, B. K.,
McKenzie, N. R.,
Stockli, D. F.,
Neogene Retroarc Foreland Basin Evolution, Sediment Provenance, and Magmatism in Response to Flat Slab Subduction, Western Argentina.