Fault network in Rio Colca valley between Maca and Pinchollo, Central Andes, southern Peru

Jerzy Żaba, Zbigniew Małolepszy, Krzysztof Gaidzik, Justyna Ciesielczuk, Andrzej Paulo


The network of faults and joints within the Mesozoic, Miocene and Pleistocene–Holocene formations was studied in the Rio Colca valley, in the Pinchollo–Lari–Maca area (Central Andes, southern Peru). A complex, multi-phase development of these structures was revealed. The results show that the structural framework of the Rio Colca valley consists of WNW–ESE and NE–SW faults, and a few W–E faults. The strike of the most common fault sets is approximately parallel (longitudinal) or perpendicular (transverse) to the W–E oriented strike of stratification surfaces in the Mesozoic sedimentary series and the W–E fold macro-structures, developed in these strata. Diagonal faults and joints are less common, although at some localities they are numerous. The recurrence of major fault systems throughout the Mesozoic and Miocene series and the Pleistocene–Holocene (mainly colluvial) deposits is proof of recent, tectonic activity in the study area. The recent faulting has led to the development of a system of distinct, primary fault scarps, tectonic grabens and horsts, as well as open fissures, which are well marked in the surface morphology, and in many cases have not yet been eroded.

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