An Upper Mesozoic island-arc–back-arc system in the southern Andes and South Georgia

The Upper Jurassic–Lower Cretaceous strato-tectonic belts of the southern Andes and South Georgia, 2000 km apart, can be correlated and explained as the products of an island-arc–back-arc system. From the Pacific Ocean to the Atlantic, these belts, which exhibit structural and metamorphic differences, are: (1) a pyroclastic belt developed on an ensialic volcanic arc; (2) a back-arc flysch sequence underlain in the southern Andes by a basic complex with oceanic affinities; this was intruded into continental crust as a result of sea-floor spreading which created a marginal basin; (3) a slate sequence deposited on a continental shelf. The pyroclastic and marginal basin belts and the adjacent part of the continental shelf were folded and uplifted during the early Upper Cretaceous, whereas the foreland part of the continental shelf assemblage underwent deformation during the early Tertiary.


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Authors: Suárez, M., Pettigrew, T.H.

1 January, 1976
Geological Magazine / 113
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