Analysis of deformation and tectonic history of the Southern Altiplano Plateau (Bolivia) and their importance for plateau formation

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The Altiplano represents a key region of the Central Andes, where the interplay between faults and syn-tectonic sediments allow the reconstruction of the kinematic evolution of the Central Andean high plateau. This study aims, by the use of incrementally-balanced crosssections, interpretation of reflection-seismic profiles, 3D strain analysis, gravity data interpretation, isotopic-age dating, and surface observations, to reconstruct the geological and tectonic history of the Southern Altiplano at 21o S between the Eastern and the Western Cordillera. The Southern Altiplano is a complex intramontane basin with 6-8km Cenozoic fill. It can be structurally divided in three domains; the Eastern, Central, and Western Altiplano. 2D balanced cross-sections based on seismic-reflector analysis and field observations show that the Eastern Altiplano is the buried, thin-skinned deformation front of the western part of the Eastern Cordillera's bivergent thrust system. The 20-40ʿ dipping, blind faults merge into a shallow, eastward-dipping detachment at 7-9km depth that continues into the Eastern Cordillera. The Central Altiplano forms a bivergent system with 30-90ʿ dipping, basement-involving thrusts in the east, and fault-propagation folds in the west. The shallow, westward-dipping detachment lies at 9-10km depth and possibly continues into the Western Altiplano, which forms a separate bivergent thrust-system.The computer-aided (GeoSec and 2DMove), incremental restoration of the balanced crosssections of the Eastern and Central Altiplano, and preliminary line-length balancing of the Western Altiplano, yields 38km shortening due to folding and thrusting ...
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