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Authors: Ventura, G.* 
De Ritis, R.* 
Longo, M.* 
Chiappini, M.* 
Title: Terrain characterization and structural control of the Auca Mahuida volcanism (Neuquén Basin, Argentina)
Issue Date: 2013
Series/Report no.: /27 (2013)
DOI: 10.1080/13658816.2012.741241
Keywords: geomorphology
Subject Classification04. Solid Earth::04.04. Geology::04.04.03. Geomorphology 
04. Solid Earth::04.04. Geology::04.04.09. Structural geology 
04. Solid Earth::04.08. Volcanology::04.08.99. General or miscellaneous 
Abstract: Geomorphometric parameters (slope, aspect, valley depth, and areal density of cones) derived from a moderate resolution digital elevation model with a grid spacing of 100 m are used in an attempt to interpret the tectonic/structural features related to surface deformation in the Auca Mahuida volcanic terrain (Neuquén Basin, Argentina). The Auca Mahuida (2.03–0.88 Ma) is the southernmost volcanic field of the Payenia volcanic province, in the Andean foreland. The foreland is subjected to an E–W compression related to the eastward migration of the N–S striking thrust front of the Andes. The geomorphometric analysis indicates that the Auca Mahuida consists of a basal, E–W elongated lava field with monogenic vents and a summit, polygenic, also E–W elongated, cone. A N100◦E striking fault controls the southern flank of the field, which is also affected by scarps related to erosional and gravity-controlled processes. The drainage network shows a pseudo-radial pattern around the summit cone, and the Auca Mahuida’s deepest valley is structurally controlled by a NNW–SSE striking fault affecting the sedimentary basement. The volcanic field lies on a NE to E dipping substratum. The areal distribution of the monogenic cones is consistent with ascent of magmas along E–W striking fractures, and with elastic models of a pressurized hole (magma chamber) subjected to an E–W compression. At Auca Mahuida, the ascent of melts from the mantle is controlled, in the overriding crust, by tectonic structures formed in response to the E–W compression of the Andes.
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