Middle-Late Triassic metamorphism of the Guajira Arch-basement: Insights from zircon U–Pb and Lu–Hf systematics
- Journal Article
The Guajira Arch is located in the northernmost portion of South America and holds the record of several stages of magmatism and metamorphism. We performed LA-ICP-MS U–Pb zircon geochronology coupled with Lu–Hf isotope geochemistry on 11 samples from a high-grade gneissic basement hosting interleaved complexes of younger meta-granitoids and meta-sediments to unravel its tectono-metamorphic evolution. The oldest rocks correspond to a Rodinia-type basement at ca. 1100-880 Ma, affected by mafic magmatism during the Permian at ca. 272 Ma, anatexis during the Carnian at ca. 230 Ma, updoming and the formation of an extensional detachment fault during the Norian at ca. 224 Ma concluding with Jurassic magmatism since ca. 190 Ma. Trace element geochemistry shows that Triassic zircons are depleted in HREE and yield lower Th/U ratios than Jurassic zircons enriched both in HREE, Yb, and Y. Hf systematics indicates a Triassic to Jurassic evolution towards more radiogenic compositions. The lithological associations, structural setting, U–Pb ages, and Hf isotope geochemistry of the Triassic-Jurassic rocks at the Guajira Arch characterize an active margin setting of a hot orogenic belt in NW-Gondwana, comprising the Central Cordillera of Colombia, the Santa Marta Massif, the Merida Andes, the Perijá Range, the Santander Massif and the para-autochthonous terranes south of the Ouachita-Marathon Suture (Oaxaquia, Acatlán, and Maya), and thus vindicate the existence of a conjugate margin with Laurentia until the Late Triassic, preceding the breakup of western Pangaea. The Triassic anatectites and Jurassic granitoids from the Guajira Arch yield Proterozoic Hf TDMi ages which are indistinguishable from the autochthonous Proterozoic basement and thus render an allochthonous origin by terrane accretion highly improbable. Instead, these data point to melting of the continental crust by the incorporation of primitive material reflecting a two-stage process at the boundary of a large underlying mantle convection cell (i) Triassic slab steepening, subduction arrest, updoming anatexis at ca. 230-223 Ma and (ii) Early Jurassic arc-magmatism at ca. 190-165 Ma due renewed convergence. Furthermore, we propose that the structural setting, lithology, and isotope geochemistry of the Guajira Arch units, fit into the style of a cordilleran core-complex emplaced in a roll-back extensional setting preceding Pangaea break-up. Show more
Journal / seriesJournal of South American Earth Sciences
Pages / Article No.
SubjectGeochronology; Peri-gondwana terranes; Amphibolite facies metamorphism; Pangaea; Guajira Arch
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