Origen y desarrollo de la cuenca El Bajío en el sector central de la Faja Volcánica Transmexicana

  • Paola A. Botero-Santa
  • Susana A. Alaniz-Álvarez
  • Ángel F. Nieto-Samaniego
  • Margarita López-Martínez
  • Gilles Levresse
Keywords: Bajío fault, Mesa Central, Transmexican Volcanic Belt, normal fault, Cenozoic


Volcanism of the Trans-Mexican Volcanic Belt has been placed on pre-existing tectonic basins; one of them is El Bajío basin. We present the origin and evolution of this basin through the study of its deformation events occurring mainly on the El Bajío fault, at the boundary between the Trans-Mexican Volcanic Belt and the Mesa Central. Detailed stratigraphy, U-Pb and 40Ar /39Ar dates and structural analysis suggest 4 deformation events in the northwest of the Sierra de Guanajuato. The first event (D1) with E-W shortening is characterized by the development of axial plane foliation (S1) with N-S direction, this event occurred between the Tithonian and Aptian age. In the second event (D2), occurred between the Albian and the early Eocene, foliations NW-SE (S2) were generated with a NE-SW shortening trend dated between the Albian and early Eocene, this deformation is related to the Laramide Orogeny. The Granito Comanja was emplaced during the third event (D3) and generated foliation (S3) in sediments of the complejo vulcanosedimentario Sierra de Guanajuato that circumscribes the Granito Comanja in response to its intrusion. After its emplacement, NW-SE normal faults were generated along the S-SE contact of the Comanja Granite, in this time begins El Bajío fault. The fourth event (D4) has three phases that affected the Cenozoic rocks. D4F1 is marked by continental conglomerates deposition with variable thickness along of the main trace of the El Bajío fault. D4F2 affected the Oligocene volcanic rocks showing an important fault activity in this time, as evidenced the tilting above 45º in the Oligocene rocks, temporarily coincides with the triaxial extension to the Mesa Central. The direction of elongation of D4F3 is ESE-WNW, El Bajío fault had little movement. Since the Miocene the deformation was concentrated along the southern central sector of the Transmexian Volcanic Belt and there was few deformation in the Mesa central. During the three phases of deformation several faults were reactivated with N-S and NE-SW directions. The Taxco-San Miguel de Allende Fault System with N-S direction, and the El Bajio Fault with NW-SE trend, formed half grabens leading the formation of what is now known as El Bajio.