University of Tasmania
132920 - Long-lived crustal damage zones associated with fault intersections in the high Andes of Central Chile.pdf (6.84 MB)

Long-lived crustal damage zones associated with fault intersections in the high Andes of Central Chile

Download (6.84 MB)
journal contribution
posted on 2023-05-20, 03:57 authored by Piquer, J, Yanez, G, Rivera, O, David CookeDavid Cooke
Long-lived, high-angle fault systems constitute high-permeability zones that can localize the upward flow of hydrothermal fluids and magma throughout the upper crust. Intersections of these types of structures can develop complex interference patterns, which constitute volumes of damaged rock (networks of small-scale faults and fractures) where permeability may be significantly enhanced. This is relevant for understanding regional-scale structural controls on the emplacement of hydrothermal mineral deposits and volcanic centers, and also on the distribution of areas of active upper-crustal seismicity. In the high Andes of central Chile, regional-scale geophysical (magnetic, gravimetric, seismic) and structural datasets demonstrate that the architecture of this Andean segment is defined by NW- and NE-striking fault systems, oblique to the N-S trend of the magmatic arc. Fault systems with the same orientations are well developed in the basement of the Andes. The intersections of conjugate arc-oblique faults constitute the site of emplacement of Neogene intrusive complexes and giant porphyry Cu-Mo deposits, and define the location of major clusters of upper-crustal earthquakes and active volcanic centers, suggesting that these fault systems are still being reactivated under the current stress regime. A proper identification of one-dimensional, lithospheric-scale high-permeability zones located at the intersections of high-angle, arc-transverse fault systems could be the key to understanding problems such as the structural controls on magmatic and hydrothermal activity and the patterns of upper-crustal seismicity in the high Andes and similar orogenic belts.


Australian Research Council

AMIRA International Ltd

ARC C of E Industry Partner $ to be allocated

Anglo American Exploration Philippines Inc

AngloGold Ashanti Australia Limited

Australian National University

BHP Billiton Ltd

Barrick (Australia Pacific) PTY Limited

CSIRO Earth Science & Resource Engineering

Mineral Resources Tasmania

Minerals Council of Australia

Newcrest Mining Limited

Newmont Australia Ltd

Oz Minerals Australia Limited

Rio Tinto Exploration

St Barbara Limited

Teck Cominco Limited

University of Melbourne

University of Queensland

Zinifex Australia Ltd


Publication title

Andean Geology








School of Natural Sciences


Servicio Nacional de Geologia y Mineria

Place of publication


Rights statement

Copyright 2019 The Authors. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported (CC BY 3.0)

Repository Status

  • Open

Socio-economic Objectives

Copper ore exploration

Usage metrics

    University Of Tasmania


    Ref. manager