Tierra del Fuego Igneous and Metamorphic Complex

Last updated
Tierra Igneous and Metamorphic Complex
Stratigraphic range: Cambrian
Type Complex
Underlies Tobífera Formation
Primary Orthogneiss
Region Magallanes Region
Country Chile, Argentina
Type section
Named for Tierra del Fuego

Tierra del Fuego Igneous and Metamorphic Complex is a geological basement complex known from boreholes in northern Tierra del Fuego. [1] [2] The complex is made up of foliated igneous rocks of Cambrian age including orthogneiss. [1] [2] It underlies unconformably the Jurassic Tobífera Formation. The protoliths of Cordillera Darwin Metamorphic Complex are unrelated to Tierra del Fuego Igneous and Metamorphic Complex despite present-day proximity. [1]

Related Research Articles

Darwin most often refers to:

Tierra del Fuego archipelago off the south of South America

Tierra del Fuego is an archipelago off the southernmost tip of the South American mainland, across the Strait of Magellan. The archipelago consists of the main island, Isla Grande de Tierra del Fuego, with an area of 48,100 km2 (18,572 sq mi), and a group of many islands, including Cape Horn and Diego Ramírez Islands. Tierra del Fuego is divided between Chile and Argentina, with the latter controlling the eastern half of the main island and the former the western half plus the islands south of Beagle Channel. The southernmost extent of the archipelago is at about latitude 55 S.

Mount Darwin (Andes) mountain in Andes, Chile

Mount Darwin is a peak in Isla Grande de Tierra del Fuego forming part of the Cordillera Darwin, the southernmost range of the Andes, just to the north of the Beagle Channel. It is formed of crystalline schists and has massive glaciers down its steep southern slopes. Monte Darwin was for a long time considered as the highest peak in Tierra del Fuego, but that distinction corresponds to a mountain unofficially named Monte Shipton, which is about 2,580 m (8,460 ft) high and is located at 54°39′33″S69°35′54″W. Both peaks are best climbed in late December, January, February and March. Monte Shipton was first climbed in 1962 by Eric Shipton, E. Garcia, F. Vivanco and C. Marangunic.

Basement (geology) Metamorphic or igneous rocks below a sedimentary platform or cover

In geology, basement and crystalline basement are the rocks below a sedimentary platform or cover, or more generally any rock below sedimentary rocks or sedimentary basins that are metamorphic or igneous in origin. In the same way, the sediments or sedimentary rocks on top of the basement can be called a "cover" or "sedimentary cover".

Cordillera Darwin mountain range

The Cordillera Darwin is an extensive mountain range mantled by an ice field that is located in Chile.

The Magallanes–Fagnano Fault is a continental transform fault. The fault marks a transform boundary between the Scotia Plate and the South American Plate, cutting across continental crust. It runs under the Strait of Magellan's western arm, Almirantazgo Sound and Fagnano Lake.

Andean orogeny Ongoing mountain-forming process in South America

The Andean orogeny is an ongoing process of orogeny that began in the Early Jurassic and is responsible for the rise of the Andes mountains. The orogeny is driven by a reactivation of a long-lived subduction system along the western margin of South America. On a continental scale the Cretaceous and Oligocene were periods of re-arrangements in the orogeny. Locally the details of the nature of the orogeny varies depending on the segment and the geological period considered.

Lewisian complex suite of Precambrian metamorphic rocks that outcrop in the northwestern part of Scotland

The Lewisian complex or Lewisian gneiss is a suite of Precambrian metamorphic rocks that outcrop in the northwestern part of Scotland, forming part of the Hebridean Terrane and the North Atlantic Craton. These rocks are of Archaean and Paleoproterozoic age, ranging from 3.0–1.7 Ga. They form the basement on which the Torridonian and Moine Supergroup sediments were deposited. The Lewisian consists mainly of granitic gneisses with a minor amount of supracrustal rocks. Rocks of the Lewisian complex were caught up in the Caledonian orogeny, appearing in the hanging walls of many of the thrust faults formed during the late stages of this tectonic event.

Famatinian orogeny

The Famatinian orogeny is an orogeny that predates the rise of the Andes and that took place in what is now western South America during the Paleozoic, leading to the formation of the Famatinian orogen also known as the Famatinian belt. The Famatinian orogeny lasted from the Late Cambrian to at least the Late Devonian and possibly the Early Carboniferous, with orogenic activity peaking about 490 to 460 million years ago. The orogeny involved metamorphism and deformation in the crust and the eruption and intrusion of magma along a Famatinian magmatic arc that formed a chain of volcanoes. The igneous rocks of the Famatinian magmatic arc are of calc-alkaline character and include gabbros, tonalites and granodiorites. The youngest igneous rocks of the arc are granites.

Coastal Batholith of central Chile

The Coastal Batholith of central Chile is a group of plutons in the Chilean Coast Range of Central Chile appearing contiguously from 33° S to 38° S. At a latitude of 40° S an outlying group of plutons of the batholith appear in a more eastward position in the Andes.

Mejillones Peninsula

Mejillones Peninsula protrudes from the coast of northern Chile north of Antofagasta and south of the port of Mejillones.

The Choapa Metamorphic Complex or ChMC is a large coherent but varied group of metamorphic rocks –in other words a geologic complex– that crops out in the Chilean Coast Range in northern Chile. The rocks of the formation have been metamorphosed under greenschist facies metamorphism. After the main phase of metamorphism the rocks of the complex were heated by plutons in the Jurassic. It has been suggested that the protoliths of the formation were similar and equivalent to the Paleozoic-aged Puerto Manso Formation.

The Eastern Andes Metamorphic Complex is a large coherent but varied group of metamorphic and sedimentary rocks –in other words a geologic complex– that crops out in the eastern Patagonian Andes in Chile and Argentina. The metamorphic grade of rocks varies but does not exceed greenschist facies, the only exception to this are rocks near plutons affected by contact metamorphism. The sedimentary protoliths sedimented in the Late Paleozoic. The pressures and temperatures of metamorphism of the Eastern Andes Metamorphic Complex are different those usually expected from accretionary complexes. The sedimentary protoliths of the Eastern Andes Metamorphic Complex were likely deposited in a passive continental margin.

The Puerto Edén Igneous and Metamorphic Complex is a large coherent but varied geologic complex of metamorphic and igneous rocks that crops out in the Fjords and channels of Chile of the Magallanes Region. The rocks of the complex include migmatites, plutonic rocks and high-grade metamorphic rocks. To the west the Puerto Edén Igneous and Metamorphic Complex bounds the South Patagonian Batholith. Mineralogical observations and geothermobarometric calculations indicate high-temperature and low-pressure conditions for an event of metamorphism and partial melting of metapelites in the Late Jurassic.

The Cordillera Darwin Metamorphic Complex is a geologic complex composed chiefly of metamorphic rocks located in southern Tierra del Fuego. It has been suggested that the Cordillera Darwin Metamorphic Complex is analogous to the Eastern Andes Metamorphic Complex. The Cordillera Darwin Metamorphic Complex is the only metamorphic complex in the southern Andes known to have amphibolite facies rocks containing kyanite and sillimanite which evidences high-grade metamorphism. High-grade metamorphism took place during the Cretaceous purportedly in association with the closure of the Rocas Verdes Basin.

Tobífera Formation

Tobífera Formation is a volcano-sedimentary formation of Middle to Late Jurassic age. The formation is crops out in the Magallanes Region in southern Patagonia and Tierra del Fuego of Chile, the Santa Cruz Province of southern Argentina, and in the subsurface of the Malvinas Basin offshore Argentina and the Falkland Islands.

Madre de Dios Terrane is a distinct fragment of Earth's crust in southwestern Patagonia. Subduction made the Madre de Dios Terrane collide and accrete to Patagonia in the Mesozoic. This accretion is thought to have happened at a different location than today and the current location of the terrane is would be the result of displacement along dextral faults. The terrane is made up of three distinct units:

Fueguino is a volcanic field in Chile. The southernmost volcano in the Andes, it lies on Tierra del Fuego's Cook Island and also extends over nearby Londonderry Island. The field is formed by lava domes, pyroclastic cones, and a crater lake.

The geology of South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands is part of the largely submerged Scotia Ridge. The island of South Georgia is unusual among oceanic islands for having pre-Cretaceous sedimentary rocks underlying much of the island and a significant portion of felsic igneous rocks. Two-thirds of the island consists of intensely folded flysch, capped with Aptian age fossils, tuff and greywacke in the Cumberland Bay Series. The series includes slate, phyllite, conglomerate, siltstone and sandstone. In the west are basalt flows, pillowed spilite, prehnite and trachyandesite, as well as shale with radiolarite fossils.

The geology of Ecuador includes ancient Precambrian basement rock and a complex tectonic assembly of new sections of crust from formerly separate landmasses, often uplifted as the Andes or transformed into basins.


  1. 1 2 3 Hervé, F.; Fanning, C.M.; Pankhurst, R.J.; Mpodozis, C.; Klepeis, K.; Calderón, M.; Thomson, S.N. (2010). "Detrital zircon SHRIMP U–Pb age study of the Cordillera Darwin Metamorphic Complex of Tierra del Fuego: sedimentary sources and implications for the evolution of the Pacific margin of Gondwana" (PDF). Journal of the Geological Society, London. 167 (3): 555–568. doi:10.1144/0016-76492009-124.
  2. 1 2 Hervé, F.; Faundez, V.; Calderón, M.; Massonne, H.-J.; Willner, A.P. (2007). "Metamorphic and plutonic basement complexes". In Moreno, Teresa; Gibbons, Wes (eds.). The Geology of Chile. Geological Society of London. pp. 7–20.