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Aeromagnetic patterns in Southern Uruguay: Precambrian-Mesozoic dyke swarms and Mesozoic rifting structural and tectonic evolution

Abstract : New high-resolution airborne magnetic data of Uruguay allowed constructing new maps concerning the spatial distribution of dyke swarms, main faults and other magnetic bodies, which compose the Uruguayan Shield. We combined geophysical analyses (vertical derivatives, upward continuation, Euler deconvolution), structural analyses of the magnetic maps and previous geological data in order to discriminate the main structural features of the Uruguayan Shield and contribute to a better understanding of its tectonic evolution. The magnetic maps revealed several outstanding features in the Uruguayan Shield. The Paleoproterozoic dyke swarm is larger, denser, more widespread and complex than originally thought, suggesting a possible plume origin. In addition, a new Mesozoic dyke swarm, as complex as the previous one, was identified crosscutting the Paleoproterozoic dyke swarm and the Neoproterozoic orogenic structures. Moreover, this swarm is connected to volcanic calderas in the Merín basin, and shows displacements along Neoproterozoic shear zones, in the magnetic maps, revealing its brittle reactivation during Mesozoic times. The new observations clarify how Proterozoic basement structures controlled the development of the Mesozoic rift. Paleoproterozoic dyke swarms were reactivated as normal faults and Neoproterozoic structures hindered the rift growth, deflecting the deformation in transcurrent movements. Meanwhile, the Mesozoic dyke swarm was developed in a perpendicular direction to the Neoproterozoic structures. Moreover, these findings contradict the current rift model for Uruguay and rise a new model in which the Mesozoic rift developed as two rift basins connected by a central transfer zone, generated by the reactivation of Dom Feliciano Belt structures, between the Sierra Ballena and Sarandí del Yí Shear Zones.
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Pablo Demarco, Henri Masquelin, Claudia Prezzi, Tahar Aifa, Rossana Muzio, et al.. Aeromagnetic patterns in Southern Uruguay: Precambrian-Mesozoic dyke swarms and Mesozoic rifting structural and tectonic evolution. Tectonophysics, Elsevier, 2020, 789, pp.228373. ⟨10.1016/j.tecto.2020.228373⟩. ⟨insu-02878330⟩

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