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U-Pb SHRIMP zircon dating of Grenvillian metamorphism in Western Sierras Pampeanas (Argentina) : correlation with the Arequipa-Antofalla craton and constraints on the extent of the Precordillera Terrane

By Cesar Casquet, Robert J. Pankhurst, C. Mark Fanning, Edgardo Baldo, Carmen Galindo, Carlos W. Rapela, Jose M. González-Casado and Juan A. Dahlquist


The Sierras Pampeanas of Argentina, the largest outcrop of pre-Andean crystalline basement in southern South America, resulted from plate interactions along the proto-Andean margin of Gondwana, from as early as Mesoproterozoic to Late Paleozoic times (e.g., Ramos, 2004, and references therein). Two discrete Paleozoic orogenic belts have been recognized: the Early Cambrian Pampean belt in the eastern sierras, and the Ordovician Famatinian belt, which partially overprints it to the west (e.g., Rapela et al., 1998). In the Western Sierras Pampeanas, Mesoproterozoic igneous rocks (ca. 1.0–1.2 Ga) have been recognized in the Sierra de Pie de Palo (Fig. 1) (McDonough et al., 1993 M.R. McDonough, V.A. Ramos, C.E. Isachsen, S.A. Bowring and G.I. Vujovich, Edades preliminares de circones del basamento de la Sierra de Pie de Palo, Sierras Pampeanas occidentales de San Juán: sus implicancias para el supercontinente proterozoico de Rodinia, 12° Cong. Geol. Argentino, Actas vol. 3 (1993), pp. 340–342.McDonough et al., 1993, Pankhurst and Rapela, 1998 and Vujovich et al., 2004) that are time-coincident with the Grenvillian orogeny of eastern and northeastern North America (e.g., Rivers, 1997 and Corrievau and van Breemen, 2000). These Grenvillian-age rocks have been considered to be the easternmost exposure of basement to the Precordillera Terrane, a supposed Laurentian continental block accreted to Gondwana during the Famatinian orogeny (Thomas and Astini, 2003, and references therein). However, the boundaries of this Grenvillian belt are still poorly defined, and its alleged allochthoneity has been challenged (Galindo et al., 2004). Moreover, most of the Grenvillian ages so far determined relate to igneous protoliths, and there is no conclusive evidence for a Grenvillian orogenic belt, other than inferred from petrographic evidence alone (Casquet et al., 2001). We provide here the first evidence, based on U–Pb SHRIMP zircon dating at Sierra de Maz, for a Grenville-age granulite facies metamorphism, leading to the conclusion that a continuous mobile belt existed throughout the proto-Andean margin of Gondwana in Grenvillian times.\ud \ud \u

Topics: Earth Sciences
Publisher: Elsevier
Year: 2006
DOI identifier: 10.1016/j.gr.2005.12.004
OAI identifier: oai:nora.nerc.ac.uk:10895

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