Helmholtz Centre Potsdam
GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences
Abstract (EDOC: 10944)
An exceptionally large tsunami affected the coastline of southern Chile during the Pliocene. Its backflow eroded coarse beach and coastal dune sediments and redistributed them over the continental shelf and slope. Sandstone dykes and sills injected from the base of the resulting hyperconcentrated flow into underlying cohesive muds, assisted in plucking up large blocks of the latter and incorporating them into the flow. Locally, the rip-up intraclasts were fragmented further by smaller-scale injections to form a distinct breccia of angular to rounded mudstone clasts within a medium to coarse sandstone matrix. Sandstone sills in places mimic normal sedimentary beds, complete with structures resembling inverse gradation, planar laminae, as well as ripple and trough cross-lamination. These were probably formed by internal sediment flow and shear stress as the semi-liquefied sand was forcefully injected into cracks. In borehole cores, such sills can easily be misinterpreted as normal sedimentary beds, which can have important implications for hydrocarbon exploration.
(2008): A Pliocene mega-tsunami deposit and associated features in the Ranquil Formation, southern Chile. Sedimentary Geology, 203, 1-2, 164-180.