DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5027/andgeoV36n1-a03

Strike-slip along the Sierra de Varas Fault (Cordillera de Domeyko Fault-System), northern Chile.

Hans Niemeyer, Carlos Urrutia

Abstract


The north-south trending Cordillera de Domeyko Fault System in northern Chile considered herein is parallel to the Peru-Chile trench. The displacement history of the Sierra de Varas Fault, a master fault of the mentioned system, was examined in detall in the Aguada del Hornito-Aguada del Cerro Alto de Varas segment. Upper Paleozoic granitoids of the same composition, internal structure and age were cut and displaced by the fault. A sinistral horizontal separation of 15.6±1 kmwitha vertical componentof 4.9±0.1 km, suggests a sinistral-reverse net displacement of 16.4±1 km. Thisis consistent with the local stratigraphic section that was eroded from the eastern block. A kinematic and dynamic analysis of mesofaults spatially related to the SVF displacements was conducted to identify the different fault populations and to obtain the stress tensor. Two structural systems were identified: an early reverse-strike-slip system and a late dextral superposed system. The first one ocurred during late middle Eocene, and the second is post-Miocene with an horizontal displacement of 0.6 km. The presence of coeval strike-slip displacements along the Sierra de Varas Fault and reverse displacements in a 'reverse flower' in the studied segment show that the structural evolution of the Sierra de Varas was dominated by a bulk transpression during the late middle Eocene. The left-lateral displacement here demonstrated for the Sierra de Varas Fault and its inflection to the SE, south of the Aguada del Cerro Alto de Varas are compatible with the westward vergence of the folds and reverse faults in the El Profeta fault-and-thrust belt, which should be also the result of the transpression.

How to cite this article Niemeyer, H.; Urrutia, C. 2010, Strike-slip along the Sierra de Varas Fault (Cordillera de Domeyko Fault-System), northern Chile.. Andean Geology 36 (1): 37-50. [doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.5027/andgeoV36n1-a03]