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Long-lived crustal damage zones associated with fault intersections in the high Andes of Central Chile


Piquer, J and Yanez, G and Rivera, O and Cooke, DR, Long-lived crustal damage zones associated with fault intersections in the high Andes of Central Chile, Andean Geology, 46, (2) pp. 223-239. ISSN 0718-7092 (2019) [Refereed Article]


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Copyright 2019 The Authors. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported (CC BY 3.0)

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DOI: doi:10.5027/andgeoV46n2-3106


Long-lived, high-angle fault systems constitute high-permeability zones that can localize the upward flow of hydrothermal fluids and magma throughout the upper crust. Intersections of these types of structures can develop complex interference patterns, which constitute volumes of damaged rock (networks of small-scale faults and fractures) where permeability may be significantly enhanced. This is relevant for understanding regional-scale structural controls on the emplacement of hydrothermal mineral deposits and volcanic centers, and also on the distribution of areas of active upper-crustal seismicity. In the high Andes of central Chile, regional-scale geophysical (magnetic, gravimetric, seismic) and structural datasets demonstrate that the architecture of this Andean segment is defined by NW- and NE-striking fault systems, oblique to the N-S trend of the magmatic arc. Fault systems with the same orientations are well developed in the basement of the Andes. The intersections of conjugate arc-oblique faults constitute the site of emplacement of Neogene intrusive complexes and giant porphyry Cu-Mo deposits, and define the location of major clusters of upper-crustal earthquakes and active volcanic centers, suggesting that these fault systems are still being reactivated under the current stress regime. A proper identification of one-dimensional, lithospheric-scale high-permeability zones located at the intersections of high-angle, arc-transverse fault systems could be the key to understanding problems such as the structural controls on magmatic and hydrothermal activity and the patterns of upper-crustal seismicity in the high Andes and similar orogenic belts.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:porphyry, copper, basement fault intersections, magma and hydrothermal fluid flow, central Chile
Research Division:Earth Sciences
Research Group:Geology
Research Field:Structural geology and tectonics
Objective Division:Mineral Resources (Excl. Energy Resources)
Objective Group:Mineral exploration
Objective Field:Copper ore exploration
UTAS Author:Piquer, J (Ms Judith Piquer)
UTAS Author:Cooke, DR (Professor David Cooke)
ID Code:132920
Year Published:2019
Funding Support:Australian Research Council (CE0561595)
Web of Science® Times Cited:21
Deposited By:CODES ARC
Deposited On:2019-05-28
Last Modified:2020-05-12
Downloads:24 View Download Statistics

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