Basaltic “Escoriales” of the Provinces of Neuquén and Santa Cruz, Argentina. Quantitative Analysis
This chapter presents the data obtained in the inventory of the basaltic exposures found in the provinces of Neuquén and Santa Cruz, Patagonia, Argentina. A statistical analysis of the quantitative and qualitative variables has been performed, which allows the morphometric and geomorphological characterization of the different “escoriales” of each province and extend the results to the entire region. Likewise, the presence of wetland ecosystems (“mallines”) nearby the basaltic mantles is analyzed. Their relationship with the size of the “escoriales”, the precipitations and the rest of the considered variables, such as type of “escorial”, type of margin, age of the lava flows, and local relief, are studied. It is concluded that 74% of the “escoriales” surveyed occur in the shape of “mesetas” with a size smaller than 50 km2; they are composed of lava flows erupted in one single volcanic episode and they expose abrupt edges and a simple surficial geomorphology. For both studied regions, there is an association between the variable size of the “escoriales” with the age of the flows, the type of margin and the geomorphological complexity. The “mallines” are present in more than 50% of the “escoriales.” The surface of the volcanic mantle is the more relevant variable considering location.
KeywordsPatagonia Cenozoic volcanic plateaus “Escoriales” Wet meadows “Mallines” Morphometric parameters
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