44 research outputs found

    Zircon Dates Long-Lived Plume Dynamics in Oceanic Islands

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    In this contribution we report the first systematic study of zircon U-Pb geochronology and δ 18O-εHf(t) isotope geochemistry from 10 islands of the hot-spot related Galapagos Archipelago. The data extracted from the zircons allow them to be grouped into three types: (a) young zircons (0–∼4 Ma) with εHf(t) (∼5–13) and δ 18O (∼4–7) isotopic mantle signature with crystallization ages dating the islands, (b) zircons with εHf(t) (∼5–13) and δ 18O (∼5–7) isotopic mantle signature (∼4–164 Ma) which are interpreted to date the time of plume activity below the islands (∼164 Ma is the minimum time of impingement of the plume below the lithosphere), and (c) very old zircons (∼213–3,000 Ma) with mostly continental (but also juvenile) εHf(t) (∼−28–8) and δ 18O (∼5–11) isotopic values documenting potential contamination from a number of sources. The first two types with similar isotopic mantle signature define what we call the Galápagos Plume Array (GPA). Given lithospheric plate motion, this result implies that GPA zircon predating the Galápagos lithosphere (i.e., >14–164 Ma) formed and were stored at sublithospheric depths for extended periods of time. In order to explain these observations, we performed 2D and 3D thermo-mechanical numerical experiments of plume-lithosphere interaction which show that dynamic plume activity gives rise to complex asthenospheric flow patterns and results in distinct long-lasting mantle domains beneath a moving lithosphere. This demonstrates that it is physically plausible that old plume-derived zircons survive at asthenospheric depths below ocean islands.German Research Foundation (DFG) RO4174/3-1 RO4174/3-3Ministry of Science and Innovation, Spain (MICINN)Spanish GovernmentEuropean Commission PID2019-105625RB-C21 PY20_00550European Research Council (ERC) European Commission MAGMA 77114

    In Situ U–Th–Pb Dating of Parisite: Implication for the Age of Mineralization of Colombian Emeralds

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    Parisite-Ce (Ca(Ce,La)2(CO3)3F2) is a rare-earth (REE) fluorocarbonate mineral first described from the world-famous emerald mines of the Muzo district, Boyacá Province, Colombia. Four samples of parisite-Ce collected from outcrops near Muzo have been geochemically studied and dated using the in situ laser ablation U–Th–Pb method. Our study shows that the REE abundance of parisite is controlled by the leaching of the wall rocks (black schist). Furthermore, we show that the parisite-Ce crystals formed in textural equilibrium with the emeralds, suggesting a similar time of crystallization. Our analysis demonstrates the capability of parisite as a geochronometer and shows that precise and accurate U–Th–Pb ages can be obtained from parisite after common 207Pb correction. A higher precision date was obtained with the Th–Pb ratio rather than with the U–Pb ratio because of the relatively higher content of Th than U in the samples. The samples yielded 208Th–232Pb ages ranging from ~47 to 51 Ma. The new ages are ~10 Ma older than previously reported Ar–Ar ages and ~10 Ma younger than previously reported Rb/Sr ages. These results will have significant implications for understanding the timing of mineralization and crystallization of emerald deposits in Colombia. Furthermore, this study opens new avenues for dating similar deposits worldwide

    The geology of Cuba: A brief overview and synthesis

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    Cuba is the largest island in the Greater Antilles, and its geology records three important episodes: (1) the Jurassic breakup of North and South America (Pangea) and associated passive margin and oceanic sedimentary and magmatic evolution; (2) the sedimentary, magmatic, and metamorphic evolution of an intra-oceanic Cretaceous-Paleogene ophiolite-arc complex; and (3) the Paleogene 'soft collision' and transfer of the NW Caribbean plate (and Cuba) to the North American plate. Thick sequences of Jurassic-Cretaceous strata (conglomerates, sandstones, limestones, dolo­stones, shales) and interlayered basaltic rocks characterize passive margin sequences preserved in the Guaniguanico terrane (western Cuba, related to the Mayan passive margin and the Gulf of Mexico) and the Bahamas Platform borderlands (north of Cuba). Passive margin deposition ceased in latest Cretaceous time, when increasing relief of accreted (overriding) oceanic arc and ophiolite complexes shed coarse sediments (olistostrome and flysch), followed by carbonate deposition. Fragments of the intervening oceanic lithosphere (Proto-Caribbean, connected to the Central Atlantic) and fore- and back-arc oceanic lithosphere (Caribbean, of Pacific origin) occur as tectonic fragments detached from the ophiolitic units, including serpentinized harzburgites and dunites, banded and isotropic gabbros, basalts (tholeiitic and fore-arc basalts, locally with boninites) and Late Jurassic (Tithonian) through Late Cretaceous (Coniacian and younger) oceanic sediments. Arc activity in the Cuban segment of the Greater Antilles produced sedimentary, volcanic, and plutonic rocks during Cretaceous times (ca. 135-70 Ma). A new arc developed in eastern Cuba during Paleocene-middle Eocene times. Cuban arc sequences include island-arc tholeiitic, calcalkaline, and alkaline bimodal suites of volcanic and plutonic rocks. Remnants of Proto-Caribbean oceanic lithosphere occur as exhumed mélange-bearing eclogite-, blueschist-, and garnet-amphibolite-facies tectonic blocks (oldest age ca. 120 Ma) within a serpentinite matrix intercalated with, or at the base of, the overthrusted ophiolitic bodies. Cuban Cretaceous arc magmatic activity ended due to the subduction of Proto-Caribbean passive margin sequences of the Caribeana terrane, an offshore protuberance of Yucatan. This event formed strongly deformed high-pressure meta­sedimentary and metaigneous rocks at ca. 70 Ma, when the Caribbean plate began to collide with North America. The collision, which included overriding of the ophiolitic and arc units over both subducted and unsubducted passive margin sequences, also produced synorogenic basins and filled them, a process that continued until ca. 40 Ma. This foldbelt was succeeded by local uplift and subsidence to form late Eocene-Recent unconformable post-orogenic continental basins

    Ancient xenocrystic zircon in young volcanic rocks of the southern Lesser Antilles island arc

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    The Lesser Antilles arc is one of the best global examples in which to examine the effects of the involvement of subducted sediment and crustal assimilation in the generation of arc crust. Most of the zircon recovered in our study of igneous and volcaniclastic rocks from Grenada and Carriacou (part of the Grenadines chain) is younger than 2 Ma. Within some late Paleogene to Neogene (~ 34–0.2 Ma) lavas and volcaniclastic sediments however, there are Paleozoic to Paleoarchean (~ 250–3469 Ma) xenocrysts, and Late Jurassic to Precambrian zircon (~ 158–2667 Ma) are found in beach and river sands. The trace element characteristics of zircon clearly differentiate between different types of magmas generated in the southern Lesser Antilles through time. The zircon population from the younger arc (Miocene, ~ 22–19 Ma, to Present) has minor negative Eu anomalies, well-defined positive Ce anomalies, and a marked enrichment in heavy rare earth elements (HREE), consistent with crystallization from very oxidized magmas in which Eu2 + was in low abundance. In contrast, zircon from the older arc (Eocene to mid-Oligocene, ~ 30–28 Ma) has two different REE patterns: 1) slight enrichment in the light (L)REE, small to absent Ce anomalies, and negative Eu anomalies and 2) enriched High (H)REE, positive Ce anomalies and negative Eu anomalies (a similar pattern is observed in the xenocrystic zircon population). The combination of positive Ce and negative Eu anomalies in the zircon population of the older arc indicates crystallization from magmas that were variably, but considerably less oxidized than those of the younger arc. All the igneous zircon has positive εHf(t), reflecting derivation from a predominantly juvenile mantle source. However, the εHf(t) values vary significantly within samples, reflecting considerable Hf isotopic heterogeneity in the source. The presence of xenocrystic zircon in the southern Lesser Antilles is evidence for the assimilation of intra-arc crustal sediments and/or the recycling and incorporation of sediments into the magma sources in the mantle wedge. Most likely however, primitive magmas stalling and fractionating during their ascent through the Antilles crust entrained ancient zircon. This is evidence by the geochemistry of the study samples, which is inconsistent with any involvement of partially melted subducted sediment. Paleogeographic reconstructions show that the old zircon could derive from distant regions such as the Eastern Andean Cordillera of Colombia, the Merida Andes, and the northern Venezuela coastal ranges, transported for example by the Proto-Maracaibo River precursor of the Orinoco River.This study was supported by Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG) grants KR590/85-1 to AK and RO4174/2-1 to YRA, and Spanish MINECO grants CGL2015-65824 and CGL2012-36263 and University of Granada research program (CIC) to AGC and CLC. This research also received support from the SYNTHESYS Project (http://www.synthesys.info/) which is financed by the European Community Research Infrastructure Action under the FP7 “Capacities” Program, the Intra-University Research Support Program of Mainz University (Universitätsinterne Forschungsförderung (FoFö)

    Cold plumes trigger contamination of oceanic mantle wedges with continental crust-derived sediments: Evidence from chromitite zircon grains of eastern Cuban ophiolites

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    The origin of zircon grains, and other exotic minerals of typical crustal origin, in mantle-hosted ophiolitic chromitites are hotly debated. We report a population of zircon grains with ages ranging from Cretaceous (99 Ma) to Neoarchean (2750 Ma), separated from massive chromitite bodies hosted in the mantle section of the supra-subduction (SSZ)-type Mayarí-Baracoa Ophiolitic Belt in eastern Cuba. Most analyzed zircon grains (n = 20, 287 ± 3 Ma to 2750 ± 60 Ma) are older than the early Cretaceous age of the ophiolite body, show negative εHf(t) (−26 to −0.6) and occasional inclusions of quartz, K-feldspar, biotite, and apatite that indicate derivation from a granitic continental crust. In contrast, 5 mainly rounded zircon grains (297 ± 5 Ma to 2126 ± 27 Ma) show positive εHf(t) (+0.7 to +13.5) and occasional apatite inclusions, suggesting their possible crystallization from melts derived from juvenile (mantle) sources. Interestingly, younger zircon grains are mainly euhedral to subhedral crystals, whereas older zircon grains are predominantly rounded grains. A comparison of the ages and Hf isotopic compositions of the zircon grains with those of nearby exposed crustal terranes suggest that chromitite zircon grains are similar to those reported from terranes of Mexico and northern South America. Hence, chromitite zircon grains are interpreted as sedimentary-derived xenocrystic grains that were delivered into the mantle wedge beneath the Greater Antilles intra-oceanic volcanic arc by metasomatic fluids/melts during subduction processes. Thus, continental crust recycling by subduction could explain all populations of old xenocrystic zircon in Cretaceous mantle-hosted chromitites from eastern Cuba ophiolite. We integrate the results of this study with petrological-thermomechanical modeling and existing geodynamic models to propose that ancient zircon xenocrysts, with a wide spectrum of ages and Hf isotopic compositions, can be transferred to the mantle wedge above subducting slabs by cold plumes

    Alfred Kröner (1939-2019)

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    Subduction, accretion, and collision in Latin America, the Caribbean, and Iberia: a tribute to the career of Antonio García-Casco

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    This research was financially supported by Grant PID2019-105625RB-C21 funded by MCIN/AEI/ 10.13039/501100011033
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