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The Miocene Mariño formation (central argentinian foreland, Mendoza region): a high-resolution integrated study of sedimentary and palaeoenvironmental responses to tectonic and climatic forcing.

English title The Miocene Mariño formation (central argentinian foreland, Mendoza region): a high-resolution integrated study of sedimentary and palaeoenvironmental responses to tectonic and climatic forcing.
Applicant Moscariello Andrea
Number 146736
Funding scheme Project funding
Research institution Département des sciences de la Terre Université de Genève
Institution of higher education University of Geneva - GE
Main discipline Geology
Start/End 01.11.2013 - 30.09.2017
Approved amount 413'729.00
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All Disciplines (4)

Discipline
Geology
Geochemistry
Mineralogy
Geochronology

Keywords (9)

foreland basins; fluvial fans; fluvio-aeolian interactions; radiogenic isotopes; U-Pb dating; climate forcing; detrital zircons; geochemical signatures; sedimentary processes

Lay Summary (French)

Lead
Les bassins d’avant-pays sont des dépressions structurales parallèles à une chaine montagneuse qui résultent de la collision de deux plaques tectoniques. Les sédiments d’avant-pays constituant la Formation Mariño résultent directement de l’orogenèse des Andes et représentent un enregistrement précieux qui permettra de mieux comprendre à la fois l’histoire géologique de la région et l’impact des changements climatiques à l’échelle globale dans ce type d’environnement de dépôt.
Lay summary

Contenu et objectifs du travail de recherche

Ce projet a pour but de fournir une reconstruction détaillée des processus ayant eu lieu lors du Miocène dans la région de Mendoza au nord de l’Argentine. Nous chercherons surtout à différencier et quantifier les rôles du climat et de la tectonique enregistrés dans les successions sédimentaires de la Formation Mariño. Pour cela il s’agira de procéder à des analyses sedimentologiques, minéralogiques et géochimiques de hautes résolution permettant de connaitre la provenance des sédiments lors de la période de soulèvement de la Cordillère Principale ainsi que l’évolution du climat pendant cette période.
Cette formation contient un enregistrement stratigraphique continu de systèmes éoliens et fluviatiles qui se sont développés pendant le soulèvement de la Cordillère Principale lors d’un contexte climatique aride à semi-aride. Les affleurements qui seront étudiés sont d’une qualité exceptionnelle en termes d’accessibilité, d’extension verticale et latérale, fournissant ainsi une excellente opportunité de reconstruire l’évolution temporelle et spatiale de processus et environnements à proximité d’un système orogénique actif.

Impacts du projet de recherche

Ce travail permettra non seulement d’améliorer les connaissances géologiques de la région mais notamment de mieux comprendre les processus sédimentaires ayant lieu dans les bassins d’avant-pays lors d’évolutions climatiques et tectoniques. En effet, cette étude permettra de mieux comprendre l’influence des changement climatiques sur l’érosion de versants pendant une période caractérisée par de fluctuations de température et pluviosité importantes, non influencées par l’activité anthropique.
Direct link to Lay Summary Last update: 24.10.2013

Responsible applicant and co-applicants

Employees

Publications

Publication
High-resolution compositional analysis of a fluvial-fan succession: the Miocene infill of the Cacheuta Basin (central Argentinian foreland).
Hunger Gabriel Ventra Dario Moscariello Andrea Veiga Gonzalo Chiaradia Massimo (2018), High-resolution compositional analysis of a fluvial-fan succession: the Miocene infill of the Cacheuta Basin (central Argentinian foreland)., in Sedimentary Geology.
Alluvial fans and fluvial fans at the margins of continental sedimentary basins: geomorphic and sedimentological distinction for geo-energy exploration and development
Moscariello Andrea (2017), Alluvial fans and fluvial fans at the margins of continental sedimentary basins: geomorphic and sedimentological distinction for geo-energy exploration and development, in Geol. Soc. London, 440, xx-yy.
Geology of fluvial-fan deposits: facies patterns, architectural organization, and implications for economic geology
Ventra Dario, Moscariello Andrea, Geology of fluvial-fan deposits: facies patterns, architectural organization, and implications for economic geology, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge UK.

Collaboration

Group / person Country
Types of collaboration
CONICET - Argentina Argentina (South America)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
Prof Andy Dufrane Geochronology, University of Alberta Canada (North America)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Research Infrastructure
University of Utrecht, Department of Earth Sciences Netherlands (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
- Exchange of personnel
University of Lausanne - Institute of Mineralogy and Geochemistry Switzerland (Europe)
- Research Infrastructure
TNO The Netherlands Geological Survey - Utrecht Netherlands (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results

Scientific events

Active participation

Title Type of contribution Title of article or contribution Date Place Persons involved
IAS Regional Meeting Toulouse Poster Allogenic versus autogenic controls on a fluvial-fan succession: compositional study of the Cacheuta Basin infill (central Argentinian foreland) 18.10.2017 Toulouse, France Hunger Gabriel; Ventra Dario; Moscariello Andrea;
EGU 2017 Vienna Poster Deciphering the geochemical and mineralogical changes of a Miocene sedimentary basin infill, Mendoza Province, Argentina 25.04.2017 Vienna, Austria Hunger Gabriel; Ventra Dario; Moscariello Andrea;
14th Swiss Geoscience Meeting Talk given at a conference Compositional changes related to the deposition of a Moicene sedimentary basin infill, Central Argentinian Foreland (Mendoza province) 19.11.2016 Geneva, Switzerland Hunger Gabriel; Moscariello Andrea;
AAPG Annual Conference and Exibition Talk given at a conference Vertical facies transitions in a progradational fluvial-fan succession (Mendoza foreland, Argentina): Depositional processes and spurious climate signals 22.07.2016 Calgary, Canada Moscariello Andrea; Ventra Dario; Hunger Gabriel;
3rd Working Group on Sediment Generation meeting Talk given at a conference Compositional changes related to non-steady state conditions during deposition of a Miocene sedimentary basin infill, Central Argentinian Foreland (Mendoza province) 21.07.2016 Leuven, Belgium Moscariello Andrea; Hunger Gabriel;
WGSG-3 (Working Group on Sediment Generation) Talk given at a conference Compositional changes related to non-steady state conditions during deposition of a Miocene sedimentary basin infill, Central Argentinian Foreland (Mendoza province) 06.07.2016 Leuven, Belgium Moscariello Andrea; Ventra Dario; Hunger Gabriel;
AAPG ACE 2016 Poster High-resolution geochemistry and petrography of a Miocene succession from the Central Argentinian Foreland (Mendoza Province, Argentina): A compositional approach to deciphering forcing factors 17.06.2016 Calgary, Canada Hunger Gabriel; Moscariello Andrea; Ventra Dario;
AAPG Annual Conference Conference and Exibition Poster Sedimentary Responses to Tectonic and Climatic Forcing: a High-Resolution, Integrated Sedimentological-Geochemical Study in Terrestrial Foreland Deposits (Mendoza, Argentina) 02.06.2016 Denver, United States of America Moscariello Andrea; Hunger Gabriel; Ventra Dario;
100th Anniversay of AAPG Annual Conference and Exhibition, Houston Talk given at a conference Compositional changes related to fluvial-fan sedimentation: the Miocene sedimentary infill of the Central Argentinian Foreland (Mendoza Province) 04.04.2016 Houston, United States of America Ventra Dario; Moscariello Andrea; Hunger Gabriel;
Alluvial Fans 2015 Talk given at a conference Stratigraphic records of fluvial-fan progradation: Recent insights and a model for arid settings based on the Miocene of the Central Argentinian Foreland 30.11.2015 Christchurch, New Zealand Moscariello Andrea; Hunger Gabriel; Ventra Dario;


Communication with the public

Communication Title Media Place Year
Other activities The Marino Project - Swiss Embassy Buenos Aires International 2014

Awards

Title Year
Best Poster Presentation at the conference "Alluvial Fan 2015", Christchurch, New Zealand 2015

Associated projects

Number Title Start Funding scheme
144974 Acquisition of QEMSCAN Automated High-Resolution Mineral and Petrographic Analysis. 01.12.2012 R'EQUIP
175762 Comparative architectural analysis of large fluvial fan successions in humid vs arid settings: Styles of aggradation, channel belt avulsion and oberbank organisation 01.05.2018 Project funding

Abstract

Retroarc foreland basins represent effective geotectonic settings to accumulate and preserve long-term stratigraphic records of continental environments. This project aims to provide a detailed reconstruction of palaeoenvironmental dynamics and to disentangle the roles of climatic and tectonic forcing through a high-resolution, integrated sedimentological and compositional analysis of the Miocene (Langhian-Serravallian) Mariño Formation in the central Andean foreland of the Mendoza region, Argentina. The formation comprises a continuous stratigraphic record of aeolian and ephemeral fluvial systems developed during uplift of the Principal Cordillera in an arid to semiarid climate context. Outcrops of vast extension and exceptional quality are fully accessible both vertically in stratigraphy and laterally along depositional strike, providing an excellent opportunity to reconstruct the complete temporal and spatial evolution of processes and environments in proximity to an active orogenic system. Previous studies on Neogene regional geology established a chronology within the succession and a history of uplift and volcanism in the Principal Cordillera. Within this geological framework, we intend to interpret causal relations between sedimentological, petrographic and geochemical variations in the Mariño Formation and the tectonic and palaeoclimatic evolution of this sector of the Andes.Two parallel lines of research will be applied to the basal 400 m of the Mariño Formation, which comprise the most varied environmental and process transitions. The first line of inquiry will consist of a detailed, field-based analysis of sedimentary facies and architectures to interpret processes at scales varying from single sedimentation events to the establishment of entire depositional systems. Airborne image acquisition will support the architectural analysis of continuous, km-scale outcrops. The base of the Mariño Formation is characterized by the frequent intercalation of aeolian and fluvial deposits, followed vertically by the stacking of fluvial deposits with highly differentiated facies associations and architectures. The unusual abundance of debris-flow and hyperconcentrated-flow facies in fluvial channel fills indicates frequent catastrophic floods with complex flow dynamics. This stratigraphic picture suggests the interaction of different allogenic controls in the region, namely climate change, tectonics and Andean volcanism.The second line of research will focus on a multidisciplinary compositional study of the 400 m thick vertical stratigraphical succession. Our approach consists of high-resolution petrography (based on conventional thin section, XRD and innovative QEMSCAN technology), heavy-minerals analysis, geochemistry (major and trace elements by XRF and LA-ICP-MS), radiogenic isotope analyses (Sr, Nd, Pb by MC-ICP-MS), U-Pb dating of detrital zircon by LA-ICP-MS, magnetostratigraphy and palynology. This approach will allow us to: 1) unravel changes in sediment sources through time, tied to the evolution of local Andean tectonics; 2) extract palaeoclimate information from mineralogical, geochemical and palynological proxies; 3) ascertain relationships between the liberation of great volumes of fines (clays, volcanic ash) and the occurrence of hazardous sediment-laden floods, recognized by their distinctive facies signatures. The preliminary establishment of a high-resolution magnetostratigraphic framework will consent to frame and correlate this integrated dataset within a robust, detailed chronology.The relevance of this project is threefold. First, the exceptional completeness, internal heterogeneity, and 3D quality of Mariño Formation outcrops will allow a detailed reconstruction of short- to long-term interactions between tectonic, climatic, and source-area factors in driving environmental changes and processes, as well as to distinguish autogenic vs. allogenic controls on the basis of facies geometry and correlatability. Second, the exceptional lateral exposure and the possibility to develop stratigraphic correlations calibrated with quantitative analytical approaches will offer unprecedented insights for understanding similar sedimentary complexes in the subsurface. Third, the striking variety of fluvial facies and architectures represents an excellent record of different flood dynamics in ephemeral rivers. Present-day rivers in semiarid and volcanic regions present a great hazard potential due to flash floods with large sediment loads. Detailed sedimentological and geochemical analyses of ephemeral-fluvial deposits in the Mariño Formation will contribute to reconstruct the dynamics of such flood events, to predict their preparatory factors, and to understand flood-related landscape changes and recovery.
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