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Paleomagnetism of Permian and Triassic Rocks, Central Chilean Andes

Forsythe, Randall D.; Kent, Dennis V.; Mpodozis, Constantino; Davidson, John

The first paleomagnetic data from Permian and Triassic formations west of the Andean divide are presented. Four formations of Permian or Triassic age in the central Chilean Andes have been investigated: two are located in the coastal ranges, and two are in the main cordillera. Of the formations in the main cordillera (Pastos Blancos and Matahuaico formations), only the Pastos Blancos Formation has yielded characteristic directions. While a fold test is absent, magnetizations are most likely secondary and yield pre-tilt corrected concordant inclinations, but yield declinations discordant 30° clockwise in comparison to the South American apparent polar wander path. Both formations from the coastal ranges (Cifuncho and Pichidangui formations) yielded stable directions. Postfolding magnetizations in the Cifuncho Formation also show declinations discordant 30° clockwise and concordant inclinations. The Pichidangui Formation has two stable components: one of postfolding age is concordant to apparent polar wander path data, and one of probable prefolding (Late Triassic) age is concordant in declination, but discordant in inclination. Further work is needed to better define the prefolding magnetizations in the Pichidangui Formation, but at present these preliminary results are the first paleomagnetic signs of displaced terranes along the Pacific margin of Chile. If correct, the results suggest that the Pichidangui Formation was some 15° of latitude farther south during the Late Triassic and had likely moved northward to its present latitudinal position with respect to cratonic South America by Middle to Late Jurassic.

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Also Published In

Gondwana Six: Structure, Tectonics, and Geophysics
American Geophysical Union

More About This Work

Academic Units
Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory
Biology and Paleo Environment
Geophysical Monograph, 40
Published Here
February 3, 2012