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Revista de la Asociación Geológica Argentina

versión impresa ISSN 0004-4822versión On-line ISSN 1851-8249


IGLESIA LLANOS, María Paula. Palaeomagnetic study of marine Jurassicstrata from the Neuquén Basin: Magnetostratigraphic correlation of the Lower Jurassicand a new apparent polar wander path for South America. Rev. Asoc. Geol. Argent. [online]. 2009, vol.65, n.2, pp.387-399. ISSN 0004-4822.

The palaeomagnetic sudy was carried out infive sections cropping out in the Neuquén Basin, which are made up of hundredsmetres-thick of ammonite-bearing sedimentary and subordinately, volcanic rocksof Early Jurassic age. These sections are located in the northern part of thebasin along the Atuel river (Hettangian to Toarcian), and the central part(Pliensbachian to Toarcian) of the basin. From paleomagnetic and petrographicalstudies two magnetic components carried by titanomagnetites were recognised,one soft bearing a direction that coincides with the local present-day field,and another harder interpreted as the original jurassic according to thepalaeomagnetic field tests. Based on the polarities succession isolated in thefive sections, a composite magnetostratigraphic scale was elaborated, which isthe first of this age in the Southern Hemisphere. Eleven dominantly reversed (JR1to JR11) and 12 dominantly normal (JN1 to JN12)polarity zones were identified, in relation with 19 ammonite zones from theAndean Region, which were in turn correlated with the international standardgeomagnetic time scale. The good fit between the two scales allowed to datesome stratigraphic levels with no diagnotic fossils, such as theSinemurian-Pliensbachian boundary at Puesto Araya, and the Pliensbachian-Toarcian limit at Rapajalo. On the other hand, two palaeomagnetic poles werecalculated, one for the Hettangian-Sinemurian (223°E, 51°S, A95= 6°,N = 25) and another for the Pliensbachian-Toarcian (67°E, 74°S, A95=5°, N = 52). These poles, combined with others selected from the literature,led to the construction of a new apparent polar wander (APW) path of SouthAmerica for the Late Triassic-Jurassic time interval, which turned out to bedissimilar from previous curves placing the continent in a stationarylatitudinal position during most of the Mesozoic. The resultant APW pathsuggests that South America would have rotated clockwise while it was movingnorthward. The same shape and chronology is observed in the jurassic path ofEurasia. The latitudinal shifts derived from the palaeomagnetic data aresupported by diverse marine faunas from both the southern and northernhemispheres.

Palabras clave : Palaeomagnetism; Jurassic; Neuquén Basin; Ammonites; Palaeogeography.

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