Tectono-sequence stratigraphy and U-Pb zircon ages of the Rincón Blanco Depocenter, northern Cuyo Rift, Argentina

Silvia Barredo*, Farid Chemale, Claudia Marsicano, Janaína N. Ávila, Eduardo G. Ottone, Victor A. Ramos

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    59 Citations (Scopus)


    Extensional processes that followed the Gondwanan Orogeny rise to the development of a series of rift basins along the continental margin over older accreted Eopaleozoic terranes. Stratigraphic, structural, paleontological, and isotopic studies are presented in this work in order to constrain the ages of the sedimentary infilling and to analyze the tectosedimentary evolution of one of the Cuyo basin depocenters, known as Rincón Blanco. This asymmetrical half-graben was filled by continental sediments under a strong tectonic control. The infilling was strongly controlled by tectonics which in term produced distinctive features along the whole sedimentary sequence. Using a combination of lithological and structural data the infilling was subdivided into packages of genetically linked units bounded by regional extended surfaces. Several tuffs and acid volcanic rocks have been collected across the whole section of the Rincon Blanco sub-basin for SHRIMP and LA-MC-ICPMS U-Pb zircon dating. The ages obtained range from 246.4 ± 1.1. Ma to 230.3 ± 1.5. Ma which is the time elapsed for the deposition of three tectono-sequence units separated by regional unconformities and mainly constrained to the Middle Triassic. They are interpreted as a result of a reactivation of the extensional system that has evolved along strike as segments of faults that linked together and/or as laterally propagating faults. Regional correlation with coeval rift basins permits to establish north-south propagation in the extensional regime along the western margin of SW Gondwana. This trending started in the lowermost Triassic and extended until the latest Triassic. Two of them were precisely correlated with Cerro Puntudo and Cacheuta half-graben systems. The new data indicate that the three sequences were mostly deposited during the Middle Triassic (246 to 230. Ma), with no evidence of sedimentation during Norian and Rhaetian, which is in conflict with some previous biostratigraphic studies.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)624-636
    Number of pages13
    JournalGondwana Research
    Issue number2-3
    Publication statusPublished - Mar 2012


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