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Revista de la Asociación Geológica Argentina

Print version ISSN 0004-4822On-line version ISSN 1851-8249


MARTINEZ, Oscar A.; RABASSA, Jorge  and  CORONATO, Andrea. Charles Darwin and the firstscientific observations on the patagonian shingle formation (Rodados Patagónicos). Rev. Asoc. Geol. Argent. [online]. 2009, vol.64, n.1, pp.90-100. ISSN 0004-4822.

TheRodados Patagónicos is one of the most intriguing lithostratigraphic unitsin the Late Cenozoic of Patagonia. Charles Darwin named these gravels as the "PatagonianShingle Formation", when he discovered them during his trip toPatagonia on board HMS Beagle in 1832. According to the prevailing paradigm ofthe time, he assigned these deposits to a giant transgression during the GreatUniversal Déluge epoch, considering that their formation was related to waveaction along the beach in ancient times. The name of Rodados Patagónicos,as they are generally known in the Argentine geological literature, is usuallyconfusing since it has been applied to a wide number of geological units ofmultiple origin and age. Many authors have discussed the nature and origin ofthese gravels, considering them to have been formed by piedmont, alluvial,colluvial, glaciofluvial, and/or marine processes. Today, it is accepted thatthe term Rodados Patagónicos includes gravel deposits of varied nature and age,perhaps with a prevalence of piedmont genesis in northern Patagonia andglaciofluvial dynamics in southern Patagonia and Tierra del Fuego.

Keywords : Charles Darwin; PatagonianShingle Formation; Late Cenozoic; Patagonia; Tierra del Fuego.

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