A possible Plio-Pleistocene tsunami deposit, Hornitos, northern Chile

A Hartley, J Howell, A E Mather, G Chong

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33 Citations (Scopus)


A section equivalent to the Pliocene La Portada Formation exposed in the coastal cliff at Hornitos, northern Chile, contains a ca. 7-10 m thick conglomerate bed. The bed occurs within a succession of shallow marine sandstones and has an erosional contact with underlying strata. The largest boulders of basement (5 m) are angular to very angular and are set within a matrix of very poorly sorted fine to very coarse grained shell-rich sandstone. Also present are very well rounded granodiorite pebbles and shallow marine sandstone intraclasts (maximum 10 m). The clast size, erosional contact, associated facies and bed thickness suggests that the conglomerate bed is a shallow marine tsunami deposit. The angular clasts indicate limited transport and no marine reworking prior to deposition. They represent alluvial fan sediment incorporated into the bed during tsunami backflow. Intraclasts of shallow marine sandstone are thought to have been ripped up and included in the bed during the seaward passage of the tsunami across the shoreface.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)117-125
Number of pages9
JournalRevista Geológica de Chile
Publication statusPublished - 2001


  • tsunami
  • northern Chile
  • Pliocene
  • shallow marine
  • Japan


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