D'Elia, L., J. Martí, M. Muravchik, A. Bilmes, and J. R. Franzese (2016), Impact of volcanism on the sedimentary record of the Neuquén rift basin, Argentina: towards a cause and effect model, Basin Research, n/a-n/a, doi: 10.1111/bre.12222.
The analysis of volcano-sedimentary infill in sedimentary basins constitutes a challenge for basin analysis and hydrocarbon exploration worldwide. In order to understand the contribution of volcanism to the sedimentary record in rift basins, we study the Jurassic effusive-explosive volcanic infill of an inverted extensional depocentre at the Neuquén Basin, Argentina. A cause and effect model that evaluates the relationship between volcanism and sedimentation was devised to develop a conceptual model for the tectono-stratigraphic evolution of this volcanic rift basin. We show how the variations in the volcanism, coupled with the activity of extensional faults, determined the types of volcanic edifices (i.e., composite volcanoes, graben-calderas, and lava fields). Volcanic edifices controlled the stacking patterns of the volcanic units as well as sedimentary systems. The landform of the volcanic edifices, as well as the styles and scales of the eruptions governed the sedimentary input to the basin, setting the main variables of the sedimentary systems, such as provenance, grain size, transport and deposition and geometry. As a result, the contrasting volcaniclastic input, from higher volcaniclastic input to lower volcaniclastic input, associated with different subsidence patterns, determined the high-resolution syn-rift infill patterns of the extensional depocentre. The cause and effect model presented in this study isolates the variables of the volcanic environments that control the sedimentary scenarios. We suggest that, by adjusting the first order input parameters of the model, these cause and effect scenarios could be adapted to similar rift basins, in order to establish predictive facies models with stratigraphic controls, and the impact of volcanism on their stratigraphic records.