‘Canoe’ flutes from the Cerro Toro Formation, Chile

There have recently been a few posts on sole marks, including flutes from “clastic detritus” (who gives a nice overview of flutes) and groove casts from “Dynamic Earth.”

In an episode of ‘classic one upmanship,’ in poker terms I see both your sole marks, and I raise you some ‘canoe’ flutes from Patagonian Chile. These rather large flutes were featured on the cover of the November 2010 issue of the Journal of Sedimentary Research, which accompanied a paper on the Cerro Toro Formation (pdf here).  Although these flutes are widespread in the Cretaceous Cerro Toro Formation, these particular ones occur at the base of an immense pile of turbiditic conglomerate and sandstone that has eroded into mudstone (the greyish black stuff).  They are about the size and shape of a canoe, thus the name.  “Conglomerates in deep-water?”, you may scoff?  This basin (the Magallanes basin) was an axially drained retro-arc foreland basin with sediment supply from the proto-Andes, so there was plenty of sediment available, and probably little to no shelf width, so getting cobbles into deep water wasn’t a problem. The coarse sediment of the Cerro Toro Formation forms a large channel belt (3-8 km wide and ~ 400 m thick), for which many papers have been published (see this link)

Click on the image for a high resolution copy of the image that was used on the cover of JSR.  Anyone else care to play the one upmanship game? 🙂


2 thoughts on “‘Canoe’ flutes from the Cerro Toro Formation, Chile

  1. Sebastian

    Hi Zane, hope everythings great for you in the northern hemisphere! Are you coming to Magallanes next year?
    Could you send me the coordinates (or .kmz point) where I can find those, I’d love to make them the goal of my next trekking.

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