A multidisciplinary study of the Gran Bajo del Gualicho area (Rio Negro - Argentina) was carried out; the aim was to delineate its geological and geomorphological evolution and to estabilish the genesis of salts filling the depression. Climatic conditions were analized first to individuate their role in the present morphogenetic processes; moreover the main morphological features of present landscape were examined as well as the stratigraphy of the outcropping formations, and of the Gran Bajo del Gualicho Formation in particular. Finally, a possible geomorphological evolution of the studied area was traced. Geophysical analyses allowed to estabilish that the paleosurface shaped on the crystalline basement is strongly uneven and shows evidence of the strong tectonic phases it underwent. The result of isotope analyses confirmed that the salt deposits on the Gran Bajo del Gualicho bottom were produced by fresh water evaporation, while strontium isotope ratio suggested that such waters were responsible for solubilization of more ancient evaporitic deposits.
Additional publication details
Morphology, geology and geochemistry of the "Salar del Gran Bajo del Gualicho" (Rio Negro, Argentina)