Patagonian batholith
The Patagonian batholith is a series of igneous
Igneous rock
Igneous rock is one of the three main rock types, the others being sedimentary and metamorphic rock. Igneous rock is formed through the cooling and solidification of magma or lava...

A pluton in geology is a body of intrusive igneous rock that crystallized from magma slowly cooling below the surface of the Earth. Plutons include batholiths, dikes, sills, laccoliths, lopoliths, and other igneous bodies...

s in the Patagonia
Patagonia is a region located in Argentina and Chile, integrating the southernmost section of the Andes mountains to the southwest towards the Pacific ocean and from the east of the cordillera to the valleys it follows south through Colorado River towards Carmen de Patagones in the Atlantic Ocean...

n Andes
The Andes is the world's longest continental mountain range. It is a continual range of highlands along the western coast of South America. This range is about long, about to wide , and of an average height of about .Along its length, the Andes is split into several ranges, which are separated...

. The batholith
A batholith is a large emplacement of igneous intrusive rock that forms from cooled magma deep in the Earth's crust...

 extendes from Navarino Island at 55 °S to the Lonquimay
Lonquimay is a town and commune in the Malleco Province of southern Chile's Araucanía Region.- Transport :It is the terminus of an abandoned broad gauge railway project which supporters cited as the most practical railway route through the Andes to Argentina, but which lacks a link between...

 area at 39 °N. It is made of granite
Granite is a common and widely occurring type of intrusive, felsic, igneous rock. Granite usually has a medium- to coarse-grained texture. Occasionally some individual crystals are larger than the groundmass, in which case the texture is known as porphyritic. A granitic rock with a porphyritic...

, granodiorite
Granodiorite is an intrusive igneous rock similar to granite, but containing more plagioclase than orthoclase-type feldspar. Officially, it is defined as a phaneritic igneous rock with greater than 20% quartz by volume where at least 65% of the feldspar is plagioclase. It usually contains abundant...

 and tonalite
Tonalite is an igneous, plutonic rock, of felsic composition, with phaneritic texture. Feldspar is present as plagioclase with 10% or less alkali feldspar. Quartz is present as more than 20% of the rock. Amphiboles and pyroxenes are common accessory minerals.In older references tonalite is...

. The Patagonian Batholith is not uniform and is considered to be composed of two large batholiths:
  • The Northern Patagonian Batholith (Spanish: Batolito Nor-Patagónico) are a series of pluton
    A pluton in geology is a body of intrusive igneous rock that crystallized from magma slowly cooling below the surface of the Earth. Plutons include batholiths, dikes, sills, laccoliths, lopoliths, and other igneous bodies...

    s of granodioritic, tonalitic and dioritic
    Diorite is a grey to dark grey intermediate intrusive igneous rock composed principally of plagioclase feldspar , biotite, hornblende, and/or pyroxene. It may contain small amounts of quartz, microcline and olivine. Zircon, apatite, sphene, magnetite, ilmenite and sulfides occur as accessory...

     composition located in the southern Andes. The plutons of the North Patagonian Batholith are of Cretaceous
    The Cretaceous , derived from the Latin "creta" , usually abbreviated K for its German translation Kreide , is a geologic period and system from circa to million years ago. In the geologic timescale, the Cretaceous follows the Jurassic period and is followed by the Paleogene period of the...

     to Miocene
    The Miocene is a geological epoch of the Neogene Period and extends from about . The Miocene was named by Sir Charles Lyell. Its name comes from the Greek words and and means "less recent" because it has 18% fewer modern sea invertebrates than the Pliocene. The Miocene follows the Oligocene...

     age (135 Ma to 25-15 Ma). Late Miocene to early Pliocene
    The Pliocene Epoch is the period in the geologic timescale that extends from 5.332 million to 2.588 million years before present. It is the second and youngest epoch of the Neogene Period in the Cenozoic Era. The Pliocene follows the Miocene Epoch and is followed by the Pleistocene Epoch...

     (10 t0 5 Ma) leucogranites were also intruded. The Tertiary intrusions are centered on the strike-slip Liquine-Ofqui fault zone
    Liquiñe-Ofqui Fault
    The Liquiñe-Ofqui Fault is major geological fault that runs a length of roughly 1000 km in a north-south direction and exhibits current seismicity . It is located in the Chilean northern patagonean Andes. It is a dextral intra-arc transform fault...

     and include some gabbro
    Gabbro refers to a large group of dark, coarse-grained, intrusive mafic igneous rocks chemically equivalent to basalt. The rocks are plutonic, formed when molten magma is trapped beneath the Earth's surface and cools into a crystalline mass....

     bodies. The region was deeply eroded
    Erosion is when materials are removed from the surface and changed into something else. It only works by hydraulic actions and transport of solids in the natural environment, and leads to the deposition of these materials elsewhere...

     during the Quaternary glaciation
    Quaternary glaciation
    Quaternary glaciation, also known as the Pleistocene glaciation, the current ice age or simply the ice age, refers to the period of the last few million years in which permanent ice sheets were established in Antarctica and perhaps Greenland, and fluctuating ice sheets have occurred elsewhere...

  • The Southern Patagonian Batholith and the Fuegian batholith extend from 47 to 55 °S and include mafic (gabbro) to felsic (granite) bodies. Age of intrusion ranges from 151 to 16 Ma.
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