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Bureau Seminar, December 6, 2013

The assembly of South America recorded by detrital zircons in the Andean forearc

Link to streaming video TBA: available 12.06.2013 at 8:55am

Angela Hessler
Visiting Research Fellow
Bureau of Economic Geology

At the westernmost tip of South America, the Talara Basin preserves detrital zircons from the Archean Central Amazon province to the late Eocene Andean forearc, and all major tectonic phases in between.  This record is remarkable in terms of covering a great tectonic distance, and also because the Talara Basin sits in a precarious position in the Andean forearc, where subduction erosion and other processes have obscured much of the Cenozoic record.  The results here provide a lengthy record of zircon crystallization and recycling through progressive, westward crustal accretion, including late Mesozoic and Cenozoic magmatism, uplift, and terrane accretion in the Andean Cordillera.  

Angela Hessler is a consulting geologist in the Austin area, specializing in sedimentary provenance, basin analysis, and paleoclimate.  She was previously a researcher with Chevron Energy Technology Company and an assistant professor at Grand Valley State University.  She has published on the Mesozoic foreland of Patagonia, the Cenozoic forearc of northwest Peru, and Archean paleoclimate and paleo-atmospheric record of the Barberton Greenstone Belt in South Africa.


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