Morphostructural arrangement of the Sierra de las Cruces, central Mexico
The Sierra de Las Cruces volcanic range is located in the eastern portion of the Trans-Mexican Volcanic Belt. This range constitutes a morphological boundary between the basins of Mexico (2,240 m a.s.l.) and Toluca (2400 m a.s.l.). The range is 110 km long and has a variable width of 47 km to the north and 27 km to the south. The Sierra de Las Cruces consists of eight overlapped stratovolcanoes, named from south to north: Zempoala, La Corona, San Miguel, Salazar, Chimalpa, Iturbide, La Bufa, La Catedral, and other minor structures as Ajusco volcano. These volcanoes underwent alternated episodes of effusive and explosive activity, from the Pliocene to the Pleistocene, during which they were affected by faulting. This study presents a morphostructural model of the Sierra de Las Cruces through the analysis of aerial photographs, digital processing of satellite imagery, shadow relief models, thematic maps, and field work. The results indicate that Sierra de Las Cruces is made of three blocks: north, central and south, bounded by E-W faults. Each block is characterized by specific altitudes, slopes, density and trends of morpholineaments, drainage patterns, relief energy, dissection depth and orientation of drainage. The landforms and the structural analysis of the rocks defined three main faults system: N-S, NE-SW and E-W. These systems have interacted as normal faults from Pleistocene to Recent times. Reactivation of these faults has played an important role in definig the morphostructural arrangement of Sierra de Las Cruces and the configuration of the Mexico basin basement.
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