The distribution of sedimentary systems on Earth’s surface is intimately linked to tectonics, therefore, at plate boundaries the stratigraphic archive can unlock the timing and style of tectonism and relative plate motions. Using large-n detrital zircon and micropaleontological analyses, tied to field mapping and data collection, we unravel the timing of strike-slip motion and its influence on the development of a Cretaceous submarine canyon on a long-lived oblique-convergent margin. Structural analysis demonstrates that the canyon bedrock, composed of fluvial rocks (La Bocana Roja Fm., of maximum depositional age (MDA): 93.6±1.1 Ma), underwent both syn- and post-depositional contractional and extensional deformation during the Cenomanian-Turonian in response to dextral strike-slip movement. Relative sea-level rise associated with basin subsidence and hinterland uplift was coincident with incision and fill of a submarine canyon system (Punta Baja Fm., MDA 87.1±1.5 Ma to 84.9±2.0 Ma), which exploited structural lineaments in the bedrock. The canyon was filled by sediment derived from an uplifted magmatic arc during the Coniacian to Santonian, most likely shed from erosional topography associated with plutonic intrusions to the NE. Structural data suggest that oblique dextral strike-slip motion on the Pacific margin controlled the development and location of submarine erosion, and had ended by the earliest Santonian, significantly earlier than previously estimated. Basinward tilting led to uplift, followed by transgression and wave ravinement of the canyon fill, which was then overlain by a shallow-marine to fluvial system. Thus, the canyon was cut, filled, buried, uplifted and rotated basinward, planed off through wave ravinement, and onlapped by shallow-marine to fluvial sediments within an 8 Myr period. Our findings, in part, reconcile contrasting basin evolution models for the Late Mesozoic Pacific margin.
|Journal||The Sedimentary Record|
|Publication status||Published - 15 Aug 2022|