Quaternary tectonic activity of Maradona Fault System, Pre-Central Andes. Argentina

Gabriela Lara Ferrero


Several parallel east verging thrusts with Quaternary tectonic activity have been identified in the eastern piedmont of Cordón de Las Osamentas, Central Pre- Andes of Argentina. These structures were grouped into the Maradona Fault System (MFS). The main morfoestructural units, called mountainous and transitional were analyzed, whose forms and evolution are closely related to the geological structure of the area. The morphotectonic analysis made through the recognition of anomalies of drainage pattern, alignment of springs and scarps in the alluvial levels affected by faults, among others, allowed the recognition of the different fault sections and the selection of those points that show the best natural exposures. Topographic profiles performed with differential GPS let to identify small fault scarps through slope changes in each transect orthogonal to the direction of the structures. In addition, five natural exposures were identified allowing determination of the kinematics of the different sections and the deposits affected by these structures. In all the analyzed exposures, faults are reverse with low angle (thrust), dipping to the west and affecting Neogene deposits and alluvial units assigned to the late Pleistocene-Holocene. The Maradona fault system affects younger alluvial levels to the east, showing the gradual migration of the Andean deformation eastward. The presence of multiple parallel fault sections of low-angle in a relatively narrow swath of deformation, only about 1 km, would suggest the existence of several subparallel imbricated thrusts converging in depth into a single structure.


Neotectonics; thrust; morphotectonics; Pecordillera; San Juan

How to cite this article Lara Ferrero, G., 2018, Quaternary tectonic activity of Maradona Fault System, Pre-Central Andes. Argentina: Andean Geology, v. 45, no. 2, , doi: