Tectonic Setting of the Tordillo Formation in the Aconcagua Fold-and-Thrust Belt

  • Eliana AcevedoEmail author
  • Eduardo Agustín Rosselot
  • Federico Martos
  • Lucas Fennell
  • Maximiliano Naipauer
  • Andrés Folguera
Part of the Springer Earth System Sciences book series (SPRINGEREARTH)


At the northwestern Mendoza province, the Mesozoic infill of the Neuquén Basin is tectonically repeated in the Aconcagua fold-and-thrust belt. Particularly, the Tordillo Formation (commonly associated with the Kimmeridgian) represents a local low stand period of sea level, with mainly alluvial and fluvial sediments. Toward the western sector of the belt, it interfingers with volcanic and volcaniclastic materials and presents a marked increase in the thickness. This unit was studied in two localities at the Blanco River valley, at the undeformed sector and over the second thrust that produces a second repetition of the Upper Jurassic and Lower Cretaceous sequences in the Aconcagua fold-and-thrust belt. This transect exposes facies variations and a significant increase in thickness to the west. Additionally, provenance analysis and paleocurrent directions indicate that the sediment supply was located to the E-SE, and that the underlying units were exhumed at the time of deposition of the Late Jurassic red beds. A consistent thickness increment of the Upper Jurassic deposits to the west through the Aconcagua fold-and-thrust belt suggests that sedimentation was controlled by NNW-directed structures. This is also supported by facies analyses that demonstrate high topographic breaks affecting a smooth west-dipping fluvial ramp toward the volcanic arc. These features support an extensional setting for the deposition of the Tordillo Formation at the latitudes of the Aconcagua fold-and-thrust belt, as other authors have proposed for the Malargüe fold-and-thrust belt to the south. Plate tectonic reconstructions suggest trench rollback during this time previous to the westward migration of the South American plate, which is consistent with the back-arc extension proposed in the previous works.


Tordillo Formation Río Damas Formation Back-arc extension Aconcagua fold-and-thrust belt 



This study has been funded by PICT-2016-12252, PIP 11220150100426 and UBACYT 20020150100166BA. This is the R-314 contribution of the Instituto de Estudios Andinos “Don Pablo Groeber”.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • Eliana Acevedo
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Eduardo Agustín Rosselot
    • 1
    • 2
  • Federico Martos
    • 1
    • 2
  • Lucas Fennell
    • 1
    • 2
  • Maximiliano Naipauer
    • 3
  • Andrés Folguera
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Universidad de Buenos Aires, Facultad de Ciencias Exactas y Naturales, Departamento de Ciencias GeológicasBuenos AiresArgentina
  2. 2.CONICET—Universidad de Buenos Aires, Instituto de Estudios Andinos Don Pablo Groeber (IDEAN)Buenos AiresArgentina
  3. 3.CONICET—Universidad de Buenos Aires, Instituto de Geocronología y Geología Isotópica (INGEIS)Buenos AiresArgentina

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