|Title:||Neogene to Quaternary broken foreland formationand sedimentation dynamics in the Andesof NW Argentina (25°S)|
|Authors:||M. P. Hain, M. R. Strecker, B. Bookhagen, R. N. Alonso, H. Pingel, and A. K. Schmitt|
|Publication:||Tectonics, v. 30, p. .|
The northwest Argentine Andes constitute a premier natural laboratory to assess the complex interactions between isolated uplifts, orographic precipitation gradients, and related erosion and sedimentation patterns. Here we present new stratigraphic observations and age information from intermontane basin sediments to elucidate the Neogene to Quaternary shortening history and associated sediment dynamics of the broken Salta foreland. This part of the Andean orogen, which comprises an array of basement‐cored range uplifts, is located at similar to 25° S and lies to the east of the arid intraorogenic Altiplano/Puna plateau. In the Salta foreland, spatially and temporally disparate range uplift along steeply dipping inherited faults has resulted in foreland compartmentalization with steep basin‐to‐basin precipitation gradients. Sediment architecture and facies associations record a three‐phase (similar to 10, similar to 5, and <2 Ma), east directed, yet unsystematic evolution of shortening, foreland fragmentation, and ensuing changes in precipitation and sediment transport. The provenance signatures of these deposits reflect the trapping of sediments in the intermontane basins of the Andean hinterland, as well as the evolution of a severed fluvial network. Present‐day moisture supply to the hinterland is determined by range relief and basin elevation. The conspiring effects of range uplift and low rainfall help the entrapment and long‐term storage of sediments, ultimately raising basin elevation in the hinterland, which may amplify aridification in the orogen interior.