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Revista de la Asociación Geológica Argentina

versión On-line ISSN 1851-8249


SANCHEZ, M.L.; CALVO, J.O.  y  HEREDIA, S.. Sedimentry paleoenvironments of the upper sectin of Portezuelo Formation, Neuquen Group (Upper cretaceous), Los Barreales, Neuquen Province. Rev. Asoc. Geol. Argent. [online]. 2005, vol.60, n.1, pp.142-158. ISSN 1851-8249.

The upper part of the Portezuelo Formation (upper Turonian-Coniacian; Río Neuquen Subgroup of the Neuquen Group) crops out to the north of the Los Barreales lake. Sedimentological studies in order to determine paleoenvironments, their evolution, and the more relevant controls on deposition were carried out in this area.Twelve lithofacies were defined and included in six facies associations. The nature and arrangement of facies associations suggest the development of gravely braided fluvial systems, as well as mixed-load, low and high sinuosity fluvial systems. The paleocurrents are, in general, toward NE and NW. The fluvial systems were subject to abrupt changes in discharge regime, that we interpret to be related to short term climatic variability. The variations of dominant grain size of the bed load, thickness of channel bodies, and relative proportions of channel/ flood plain elements, respond to long term fluctuations of discharge levels. We also interpret that the modifications in base-level controlled the large-scale fluvial architecture. The stacking of channel units, is related with a rate of sediment supply that, in general, was not compensated by the subsidence rate. In the top of the unit, a slight increase of subsidence rate resulted in the development of flooded areas within the flood plain, and more or less stable water bodies that were then occupied by a high sinuosity, mixed-load fluvial system.

Palabras clave : Cretaceous; Fluvial Systems; Neuquén Group; Portezuelo Formation; Sedimentology.

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