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The Candeleros Formation (formerly known as the Candeleros Member of the "Río Limay Formation") is a geologic formation that crops out in the Río Negro, Neuquén, and Mendoza provinces of northern Patagonia, Argentina. It is the oldest formation in the Neuquén Group and belongs to the Rio Limay Subgroup. Formerly that subgroup was treated as a formation, and the Candeleros Formation was known as the Candeleros Member.[1]

Candeleros Formation
Stratigraphic range: Early Cenomanian-Early Turonian
~99–92 Ma
TypeGeological formation
Unit ofNeuquén Group
 Río Limay Subgroup
UnderliesHuincul Formation
OverliesLohan Cura Formation
Thickness300 m (980 ft)
PrimaryEolian sandstone
OtherConglomerate, siltstone, paleosol
Coordinates39°24′S 69°12′W / 39.4°S 69.2°W / -39.4; -69.2Coordinates: 39°24′S 69°12′W / 39.4°S 69.2°W / -39.4; -69.2
Approximate paleocoordinates46°30′S 45°30′W / 46.5°S 45.5°W / -46.5; -45.5
RegionMendoza, Neuquén & Río Negro Provinces
Country Argentina
ExtentNeuquén Basin
Type section
Named forCandeleros Hill
Named byWichmann
Year defined1929
Candeleros Formation is located in Argentina
Candeleros Formation
Candeleros Formation (Argentina)



The type locality of the Candeleros Formation is Candeleros Hill in Neuquén Province, after which the formation was named by Wichmann in 1929.[2] This formation unconformably overlies the Lohan Cura Formation, and it is in turn overlain by the Huincul Formation, also a unit of the Neuquén Group. The sediments of the latter are of lighter greenish and yellow colors and the boundary between the Candeleros and Huincul formations is easily recognizable.[3]

The Candeleros Formation is almost 300 metres (980 ft) thick in some sections. Overall, the formation represents an ancient braided river system, made up mostly of sandstones and conglomerates. There are also isolated sections that represent eolian (wind-blown) deposition, as well as siltstones deposited under swamp conditions. Paleosols (soil deposits) are common in some sections as well.[1][3]

Fossil contentEdit

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b Sánchez et al., 2006
  2. ^ Wichmann, 1929
  3. ^ a b Leanza et al., 2004
  4. ^ Canale, Juan I.; Cerda, Ignacio; Novas, Fernando E.; Haluza, Alejandro (July 2016). "Small-sized abelisaurid (Theropoda: Ceratosauria) remains from the Upper Cretaceous of northwest Patagonia, Argentina". Cretaceous Research. 62: 18–28. doi:10.1016/j.cretres.2016.02.001.
  5. ^ Leonardi, 1994, p.79