The Upper Jurassic Volcanism of the Río Damas-Tordillo Formation (33°-35.5°s): Insights on Petrogenesis, Chronology, Provenance and Tectonic Implications

Pablo Rossel, Verónica Oliveros, José Mescua, Felipe Tapia, Mihai N. Ducea, Sergio Calderón, Reynaldo Charrier, Derek Hoffman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Citations (Scopus)


The uppermost Jurassic continental and volcanic deposits of the Río Damas-Tordillo Formation represent an interval of intense continental deposition within the Jurassic to Early Cretaceous dominantly marine environment of the Mendoza-Neuquén back-arc basin. Stratigraphic and geochronological data indicate that progressive emersion of the arc and forearc domain, disconnecting the back-arc region from the Pacific Ocean, occurred during occurred during the Late Jurassic and probably the Early Cretaceous (~160-140 Ma). This change in the margin configuration induced a marine regression and the subsequent deposition of continental material in the back-arc basin. The most likely source of the sediments would have been the Jurassic arc, located west of the back-arc basin. The maximum depositional age of 146.4±4.4 Ma obtained from a red sandstone immediately below volcanic rocks confirms recent Tithonian maximum depositional ages assigned to the Río Damas-Tordillo Formation, and suggests that the volcanic rocks, overlain by marine fossiliferous Tithoninan-Hauterivian sequences, should have erupted within a short time span during the Late Jurassic. Volcanism was probably facilitated by the presence of extensional structures related to the formation of the back-arc basin. Elemental and isotopic data, along with forward AFC models, suggest a depleted sub-arc asthenospheric mantle source for the volcanic rocks and the fractionation of olivine and plagioclase, along with small volumes of lower crust assimilation, as the main processes involved in the magmatic evolution. It is not possible to establish a different source and petrogenetic conditions for the Río Damas-Tordillo Formation and the magmatism in the arc domain located further west, at the present-day Coastal Cordillera.

Translated title of the contributionEl volcanismo jurásico superior de la Formación Río Damas-Tordillo (33°-35,5°S): antecedentes su sobre petrogénesis, cronología, proveniencia e implicancias tectónicas
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)529-557
Number of pages29
JournalAndean Geology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2014


  • Central Chile
  • Detrital zircons
  • Isotopes
  • Jurassic
  • Volcanism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geochemistry and Petrology
  • Geology
  • Palaeontology
  • Stratigraphy


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