MUSEO ARGENTINO DE CIENCIAS NATURALES "BERNARDINO RIVADAVIA"
Unidad Ejecutora - UE
Detecting allocyclic signals in volcaniclastic fluvial successions: Facies, architecture and stacking pattern from the Cretaceous of central Patagonia, Argentina
ALDO MARTÍN UMAZANO; EDUARDO SERGIO BELLOSI; GRACIELA VISCONTI; RICARDO NESTOR MELCHOR
JOURNAL OF SOUTH AMERICAN EARTH SCIENCES
PERGAMON-ELSEVIER SCIENCE LTD
Lugar: Amsterdam; Año: 2012 vol. 40 p. 94 - 94
The Castillo Formation and the overlying lower member of the Bajo Barreal Formation (Cretaceous) are the principal hydrocarbon-producing units of the San Jorge Basin, Patagonia, Argentina. They are mainly composed of sandstone lenses interbedded with finer-grained, tuffaceous, sheet-like strata. Both units record fluvial systems influenced by voluminous pyroclastic influx via ash-falls mainly from a western source. These fluvial systems drained from the west toward a non-marine depocenter located in the eastern part of the basin. The units were studied in the Sierra de San Bernardo, a NNW-SSE oriented fold and thrust belt located in the western sector of the basin. The objectives of this study were: (i) to assess the influence of allocyclic factors on fluvial dynamics and sedimentation, and (ii) to determine the possible link between changes in tephra reworking and configuration of channel belts. The methodology included facies and architectural analyses, as well as determination of the stacking pattern of the channel deposits. The Castillo Formation represents permanent single-channel rivers with channel-margin bars. Floodplains were commonly constructed from aqueous reworking of pyroclastic substrates (sheet-floods, debris-flows and shallow lacustrine sedimentation) and, to a lesser extent, by preservation of ash-fall deposits. The lower member of the Bajo Barreal Formation generally records braided fluvial channel belts with a more variable water discharge and, in one locality, single-channeled rivers. Constructive processes of the floodplains were similar to the underlying Castillo Formation, although other types of deposits were detected in lower proportions including hyperconcentrated flows and crevasse-splays. The different pyroclastic sediment supply between both units explains the general evolution of the fluvial systems. The stacking patterns, which are a response to base-level changes, are probably associated with the common tectonic activity recorded in the eastern part of the basin. Significant climatic changes are not detected during deposition of both units, although indicators of variability in water discharge recognized in some paleochannels of the lower member of the Bajo Barreal Formation could be linked to seasonality in the catchments.