Basin Thermal Structure in the Chilean-Pampean Flat Subduction Zone

  • Gilda Collo
  • Miguel Ezpeleta
  • Federico M. Dávila
  • Mario Giménez
  • Santiago Soler
  • Federico Martina
  • Pilar Ávila
  • Francisco Sánchez
  • Ricardo Calegari
  • Juan Lovecchio
  • Mario Schiuma
Part of the Springer Earth System Sciences book series (SPRINGEREARTH)


Flat-slab segments are considered refrigerated areas given that the asthenospheric wedge is forced to shift hundreds of kilometres away from the trench, and the flat and coupled subducting plate acts as a thermal insulator. Although lithospheric-scale thermal analysis based on numerical modelling and geophysical observations abound, studies on the thermal history of sedimentary basins are scarce. In this contribution, we present a temperature data compilation from more than 60 oil wells within the Chilean-Pampean flat-slab segment and the transitional zones to normal subduction to the north and south in the south-central Andes. The geothermal gradient data are correlated with basin-basal heat flow estimated from 1D modelling, Curie point depths derived from aeromagnetic surveys, and previous crustal and lithospheric thicknesses estimations. Their distribution evidences a quite good consistency and correlation from region-to-region. Our modelling demonstrates that sedimentation changes are not sufficient to explain the variations illustrated in the geothermal gradient map, and that basal heat flux variations are required to reproduce the reported values. According to our results, the coldest basins develop over the flat slab or cratonward regions, whereas the highest temperatures on areas where the slab plunges. This suggests that the flat-slab geometry as well as the lithospheric structure affects the thermal state within the upper crust and particularly the sedimentary basins. Further studies will allow improving our database as well as the knowledge about the radiogenic contribution of the lithosphere and the asthenospheric heat input to the basins basal heat flow.


Chilean-Pampean flat subduction zone Heat flow Basins Sub-lithospheric cooling Thermal history Bore hole data Curie point depths Magnetic data 



We are grateful to the Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas, the Agencia Nacional de Promoción Científica y Tecnológica (PICT 2015-1092), the Secretaría de Ciencia y Tecnología de la Universidad Nacional de Córdoba (Secyt-UNC 2016-2017 30720150100830CB), the Proyecto de Investigación UE 2016 - CONICET and the CAPES-MINCYT and the Conicet-Fapesp programs for financial support of our Research Projects in Argentina. We would like to acknowledge the help of Ignacio Brisson for it constructive discussion of the results during the research and the Sevicio Geologico Minero Nacional (SEGEMAR, Córdoba delegation) and the Gerencia de Exploración YPF SA. We acknowledge thorough reviews by Silvia Nassif and Francisco Ruiz, which helped to improve this work.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gilda Collo
    • 1
  • Miguel Ezpeleta
    • 1
  • Federico M. Dávila
    • 1
  • Mario Giménez
    • 2
    • 3
  • Santiago Soler
    • 4
  • Federico Martina
    • 1
  • Pilar Ávila
    • 1
  • Francisco Sánchez
    • 1
  • Ricardo Calegari
    • 5
  • Juan Lovecchio
    • 5
  • Mario Schiuma
    • 5
  1. 1.CICTERRACONICET—FCEFyN—Universidad Nacional de CórdobaCórdobaArgentina
  2. 2.Instituto Geofísico Sismológico Ing. Volponi (IGSV)Universidad de Nacional San JuanSan JuanArgentina
  3. 3.Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas (CONICET)Buenos AiresArgentina
  4. 4.Instituto Geofísico-Sismológico VolponiSan JuanArgentina
  5. 5.YPFBuenos AiresArgentina

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