Active tectonics in the Argentine Precordillera and Western Sierras Pampeanas

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Lionel L. Siame
Olivier Bellier
Michel Sebrier


The Andean foreland of western Argentina (28°S-33°S) corresponds to retroarc deformations associated with the ongoing flat subduction of the Nazca plate beneath the South American lithosphere. This region is characterized by high levels of seismic activity and crustal active faulting. To improve earthquake source identification and characterization in the San Juan region, data from seismology, structural geology and quantitative geomorphology were integrated and combined to provide a seismotectonic model. In this seismotectonic model, the Andean back-arc of western Argentina can be regarded as an obliquely converging foreland where Plio-Quaternary deformations are partitioned between strike-slip and thrust motions that are localized on the E-verging, thin-skinned Argentine Precordillera, and the W-verging thick-skinned Sierras Pampeanas, respectively. In this seismotectonic model, the Sierra Pie de Palo appears to be a key structure playing a major role in the partitioning of the Plio-Quaternary deformations.

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Siame, L. L., Bellier, . O. ., & Sebrier, M. . (2006). Active tectonics in the Argentine Precordillera and Western Sierras Pampeanas. Revista De La Asociación Geológica Argentina, 61(4), 604-619. Retrieved from