The Late Cretaceous Orogenic System: Early Inversion of the Neuquén Basin and Associated Synorogenic Deposits (35º–38º S)

  • Lucas FennellEmail author
  • Pablo Borghi
  • Federico Martos
  • Eduardo Agustín Rosselot
  • Maximiliano Naipauer
  • Andrés Folguera
Part of the Springer Earth System Sciences book series (SPRINGEREARTH)


The first regional tectonic uplift was registered in the Neuquén Basin at ca. 100 Ma, resulting in the inception of the first foreland basin of the Andes at these latitudes. The infill of this foreland basin is represented by the nonmarine deposits of the Neuquén Group, characterized by the presence of growth strata and fold-thrust belt detrital derivation, typical of wedge-top depozones. The presence of a long-lasting hiatus and angular unconformities in structures west of the wedge-top area indicate that these constituted the main detrital source areas of the Late Cretaceous foreland basin. These structures were uplifted by tectonic inversion of pre-existing normal faults, a mechanism that was also responsible for isolated basement block uplifts detected in the foredeep depozone. The regional unconformity between the synorogenic deposits of the Neuquén Group and the back-bulge deposits of the Bajada del Agrio Group represents the migration of the forebulge, which constituted another important detrital source of the foreland basin during its mature phase. An active fold-thrust belt, disconnected basement block uplifts and the identification of the typical depozones of present foreland basins provide a complete picture of the Late Cretaceous orogenic system responsible for the early inversion of the Neuquén Basin.


Neuquén group basin Foreland basin Early andean uplift Flexural subsidence Cretaceous 



We acknowledge Nemesio Heredia and Bruno Colavitto for some of the photographs presented in this manuscript, which also greatly benefited from lively discussions with Victor Ramos, Facundo Fuentes, René Manceda, Ernesto Cristallini, Guido Gianni, Andrés Echaurren, Felipe Tapia, Emilio Rojas Vera and Mark Brandon through the years. This is the R-316 contribution of the Instituto de Estudios Andinos “Don Pablo Groeber”.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lucas Fennell
    • 1
    Email author
  • Pablo Borghi
    • 2
  • Federico Martos
    • 1
  • Eduardo Agustín Rosselot
    • 1
  • Maximiliano Naipauer
    • 1
  • Andrés Folguera
    • 1
  1. 1.CONICET—Universidad de Buenos Aires, Instituto de Estudios Andinos Don Pablo Groeber (IDEAN)Buenos AiresArgentina
  2. 2.Wintershall Energía S. ABuenos AiresArgentina

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