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Andean geology

versión On-line ISSN 0718-7106

Resumen

DECKART, Katja et al. New insights on the origin of the Mesón Alto deposit, Yeso Valley, central Chile: A composite deposit of glacial and landslide processes?. AndGeo [online]. 2014, vol.41, n.1, pp.248-258. ISSN 0718-7106.  http://dx.doi.org/10.5027/andgeoV41n1-a10.

The Mesón Alto chaotic deposit, located in the Main Cordillera at about 33°40'S, is an important landform with a volume of ca. 4.5 km3 unconsolidated material deposited downstream of the Yeso Dam in the Yeso Valley, Río Maipo drainage basin. Historical work related this large deposit to a glacial origin whereas later on, it was assigned to a megalandslide that originated in the Cerro Mesón Alto Massif. First results of integrated fieldwork along with petrographic and geochemical laboratory work on granitoid blocks from five different portions of the deposit, compared with the major outcropping intrusive units in the neighbourhood (La Gloria Pluton, Cerro Mesón Alto Massif and Cerro Aparejo Intrusion) point to a landslide origin of the surface blocks. The results suggest that granitoid fragments of the deposit most likely belong to the Cerro Mesón Alto Massif, the proposed source of the rock avalanche. However, morphometric parameters and field observations support the idea of a rock avalanche deposited on top of glacial material. Therefore, the Mesón Alto deposit should be assigned to a composite origin. Confirmation of a post-glacial, large volume rock avalanche in a strategic area for existent infrastructure for Santiago water supply and ongoing energy projects is fundamental for a correct hazard and risk assessment of the region.

Palabras clave : Mesón Alto deposit; Landslide; Glacial material; Granitoids; Yeso Valley; Geological hazard.

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