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Revista de la Asociación Geológica Argentina

On-line version ISSN 1851-8249


GONZALEZ BONORINO, Gustavo  and  DEL VALLE ABASCAL, Liliana. Orogeny and drainage in the Lerma Valley region (Eastern Cordillera, Salta, Argentina) during the late Pleistocene. Rev. Asoc. Geol. Argent. [online]. 2012, vol.69, n.1. ISSN 1851-8249.

In the late Pleistocene, following uplift of the first subandean ranges, contraction returned to the orogen interior. At the time, a wide piedmont connected the western ramparts of the Eastern Cordillera (Lesser and Obispo ranges) to the subandean plain, spanning the zone presently occupied by the Lerma Valley and the Mojotoro and Castillejo ranges. Contraction gave rise to the interior Vaqueros Range and the San Mguel Hills, and then propagated eastward with a regional reverse fault that derived in the development of the Mojotoro and Castillejo ranges and closure of the Lerma Valley. Some river courses incised across the rising barriers, whereas others were diverted to an internally drained basin flooded by ancient Lake Lerma. Incision power was greater in the northern Lerma Valley, where the rivers reached the sites of topographic uplift with high bed gradients, and where the Mojotoro River persisted as an antecedent course. In the south, Lake Lerma filled the basin to a pour point through structural lows in Salta Group strata, and the issuing water carved the subsequent channel of the present Juramento River across the Castillejo Range. More than 800 m of sediment (herein designated Lerma Valley Group) accumulated in the Lerma Valley during the late Pleistocene. Subsurface information allowed a critical revision of the stratigraphy of this fill and a more detailed subdivision. In particular, the geographical extension of the Tajamar Formation is restricted and previously proposed extrapolations for it are revised.

Keywords : River capture; Incision; Central Andes; Subsequent; Antecedent.

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