Petrography, structure and tectonic significance of 'Los Túneles' Shear Zone, Sierras de Pocho y Guasapampa, Córdoba, Argentina

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R.D. Martino
A.B. Guereschi
J.A. Sfragulla


The 'Los Túneles' Shear Zone (LTSZ) is a 75 km long by 1-5 km wide north-south trending belt. It is bordered to the west by the Pocho Fault and the La Mermela Fault Zone, and to the east by the San Carlos Massif rocks and Las Palmas gneiss. The southern border is the Pachango Shear Zone and it extends northward parallel to the Sierras de Pocho y Guasapampa. Mylonites in the north, protomylonites in the centre and little-deformed stromatites in the south are recognized along the LTSZ. H+-rich fluids would have infiltrated during the deformation producing sillimanite and abundant muscovite from plagioclase and biotite. The P-T conditions of deformation were transitional between upper amphibolite to greenschist facies. The observed foliation is composite and consists of a predominant foliation C, oriented N 334°/42°E, which is cut by low angle extensional shear bands C'. On the C plane there is a stretching lineation of Ms ± Sil ± Qtz, oriented N 50°/43° with 80°N pitch. The kinematics of LTSZ are interpreted as those of a reverse ductile shear zone with movement to the southwest (N 230°), thrusting rocks from Sil + Kfs zone over Sil + Ms zone. Two metamorphic inversions with different ages and developed at different deformation regimes are recognized. The LTSZ is post-metamorphic in relation to the regional metamorphic rocks, and pre-plutonic in relation to the pluton of Charquina. The period of tectonic activity was between Upper Cambrian and Lower Ordovician (509-474 Ma), and it would have coincided with the approach of Cuyania terrane to the gondwanic margin and with the contractional stages of the collision of Pampia terrane with the western margin of Gondwana.

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Martino, R., Guereschi, A., & Sfragulla, J. (2003). Petrography, structure and tectonic significance of ’Los Túneles’ Shear Zone, Sierras de Pocho y Guasapampa, Córdoba, Argentina. Revista De La Asociación Geológica Argentina, 58(2), 233-247. Retrieved from