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Interaction between thin- and thick-skinned tectonics in the foothill areas of an inverted graben. The Middle Magdalena Foothill belt

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journal contribution
posted on 21.06.2016 by Néstor Moreno, Alejandro Silva, Andrés Mora, Eliseo Tesón, Isaid Quintero, Luis Ernesto Rojas, Cristina Lopez, Vladimir Blanco, Jaime Castellanos, Javier Sanchez, Lidy Osorio, Jay Namson, Daniel Stockli, Wilson Casallas

The Magdalena Valley fold-and-thrust belt is a tectonic province associated with inverted rift zones. This belt displays a narrow and discontinuous deformation front indicating association with inversion tectonics. We show the differences with an analogue belt on the eastern side of the Eastern Cordillera (Llanos foothills). To do that we use structural data (seismic, wells and geological maps) which characterize different structural geometries as well as palaeocurrents, provenance and thermochronology to analyse the timing of deformation. The new datasets allowed us to detect that inversion is limited whenever the stresses are more orthogonal to the rift structures, whereas the mountain front is more segmented in comparison to the Eastern Foothills because of the absence of a continuous low basal friction detachment horizon and a pronounced eastwards basement dip. These two factors favoured fault hard linkage. It is remarkable that, in spite of the distinct segmentation, all the different segments in the Magdalena belt are coeval.