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A possible earthquake-triggered mega-boulder slide in a Chilean Mio-Pliocene marine sequence: evidence for rapid uplift and bonebed genesis

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The type area of the Bahía Inglesa Formation (north–central Chile) is structurally complex as a result of active margin subduction at the Peru–Chile Trench. Inliers of subaerially exposed Mesozoic igneous basement are unconformably overlain by a mid-Miocene to late Pliocene marine siliciclastic sequence, which has become known for its abundance of fossil vertebrates found concentrated in a phosphatite on an omission surface. Mega-boulders derived from one of the largest inliers occur exclusively within this bonebed, which appears to have formed after major localized uplift caused removal of a significant thickness of unconsolidated sediment. The mega-boulders were probably dislodged by a high-magnitude earthquake event that accompanied tilting of the sea floor, and their emplacement was an integral part of the processes involved in genesis of the bonebed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)697-705
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of the Geological Society
Volume163
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2006

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