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Chernicoff C.J.,CONICET | Zappettini E.O.,Argentine Geological Mining Survey SEGEMAR | Santos J.O.S.,University of Western Australia | Santos J.O.S.,Redstone Resources | And 2 more authors.
Geoscience Frontiers | Year: 2013

We have carried out zircon U-Pb SHRIMP dating and Hf isotope determinations on a biotite paraschist and on a tonalitic orthogneiss of the Yaminué Complex, and re-evaluate this complex in the broader context of the tectonic evolution of the Patagonia composite terrane. In the metasedimentary unit (msuYC), the youngest detrital zircon dated at 318 ± 5 Ma (Mississippian/Pennsylvanian boundary) indicates a Pennsylvanian (or younger) depositional age. The three main age populations peak at 474, 454 and 374 Ma. Preliminary Hf isotope data for two detrital zircons (447 and 655 Ma) yielded ε(Hf) values of -0.32 and 0.48, indicating that their primary sources contained small amounts of recycled crustal components (of Calymmian age; T DM 1.56 Ga). Zircons from the orthogneiss (miuYC; intrusive into msuYC) show a crystallization age of 261.3 ± 2.7 Ma (Capitanian; late middle Permian) which is broadly coeval with deformation, and Neoarchean-Paleoproterozoic inheritance. Meaningful core-rim relationship between Neoarchean zircon cores and late Permian rims is well defined, indicating the occurrence of Archean crust in this sector of Patagonia. Hf TDM of Permian zircons is mainly Meso-Paleoarchean (2.97-3.35 Ga), with highly negative ε(Hf) values (ca. -33). Hf TDM of inherited Neoarchean zircon cores is also Meso-Paleoarchean (3.14-3.45 Ga) but more juvenile (ε(Hf) = -0.3). Hf isotopes reinforce the presence of unexposed ancient crust in this area. Combining geological and isotope data, as well as geophysical models, we identify the Yaminué Complex within the La Esperanza-Yaminué crustal block flanked by two other, distinct crustal blocks: the Eastern block which forms part of the Patagonia terrane sensu stricto, located in the eastern Patagonian region, and the Western block forming part of the Southern Patagonia terrane. Their origins and timing of amalgamation to form the Patagonia composite terrane are also discussed. © 2012, China University of Geosciences (Beijing) and Peking University. Production and hosting by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Chernicoff C.J.,CONICET | Zappettini E.O.,Argentine Geological Mining Survey SEGEMAR | Santos J.O.S.,University of Western Australia | Santos J.O.S.,Redstone Resources | And 2 more authors.
Gondwana Research | Year: 2010

The present study led to the identification of a largely hidden southern segment of the Famatinian magmatic arc in the province of La Pampa, south-central Argentina. The arc is represented by scarce outcrops of metaigneous rocks (mostly meta-quartz-diorites and metagabbros) but stands out in the aeromagnetic data as a conspicuous and continuous, NNW-trending magnetic anomaly. The geochemical signature of this magmatic suite points to a pre-collisional continental magmatic arc. Its crystallization age (U-Pb SHRIMP dating on magmatic zircon) ranges from ca. 476 to 466 Ma, being comparable, therefore, to the central and northern segments of the Famatinian arc. All dated zircon of the metagabbro have similar 176Hf/177Hf ratios, negative eHf (from - 5.02 to - 3.62) and average Lu-Hf model ages of ca. 1.7 Ga, indicating a crustal contamination of a mantle-derived mafic magma (of ca. 466 Ma) with much older rocks, probably older than 2 Ga, hence suggesting that part of the underlying basement of the southernmost Pampia terrane is at least this old. U-Pb SHRIMP dating on metamorphic zircon rims/areas yielded ca 454 Ma, that is within the 465-450 Ma age range of Famatinian metamorphism previously recorded in La Pampa. The amphibolite-facies metamorphism that affects the magmatic arc in La Pampa is attributed to the collision of the Cuyania (greater Precordillera) terrane against the western margin of Gondwana. © 2009 International Association for Gondwana Research.

Zappettini E.O.,Argentine Geological Mining Survey SEGEMAR | Chernicoff C.J.,Argentine Geological Mining Survey SEGEMAR | Chernicoff C.J.,CONICET | Santos J.O.S.,University of Western Australia | And 4 more authors.
International Journal of Earth Sciences | Year: 2012

The studied Carboniferous units comprise metasedimentary (Guaraco Norte Formation), pyroclastic (Arroyo del Torreón Formation), and sedimentary (Huaraco Formation) rocks that crop out in the northwestern Neuquén province, Argentina. They form part of the basement of the Neuquén Basin and are mostly coeval with the Late Paleozoic accretionary prism complex of the Coastal Cordillera, south-central Chile. U-Pb SHRIMP dating of detrital zircon yielded a maximum depositional age of 374 Ma (Upper Devonian) for the Guaraco Norte Formation and 389 Ma for the Arroyo del Torreón Formation. Detrital magmatic zircon from the Guaraco Norte Formation are grouped into two main populations of Devonian and Ordovician (Famatinian) ages. In the Arroyo del Torreón Formation, zircon populations are also of Devonian and Ordovician (Famatinian), as well as of Late Neoproterozoic and Mesoproterozoic ages. In both units, there is a conspicuous population of Devonian magmatic zircon grains (from 406 ± 4 Ma to 369 ± 5 Ma), indicative of active magmatism at that time range. The ε Hf values of this population range between -2. 84 and -0. 7, and the TDM-(Hf) are mostly Mesoproterozoic, suggesting that the primary sources of the Devonian magmatism contained small amounts of Mesoproterozoic recycled crustal components. The chemical composition of the Guaraco Norte Formation corresponds to recycled, mature polycyclic sediment of mature continental provenance, pointing to a passive margin with minor inputs from continental margin magmatic rocks. The chemical signature of the Huaraco Formation indicates that a magmatic arc was the main provenance for sediments of this unit, which is consistent with the occurrence of tuff-mostly in the Arroyo del Torreón Formation and very scarcely in the Huaraco Formation-with a volcanic-arc signature, jointly indicating the occurrence of a Carboniferous active arc magmatism during the deposition of the two units. The Guaraco Norte Formation is interpreted to represent passive margin deposits of mostly Lower Carboniferous age (younger than 374 Ma and older than 326 Ma) that precede the onset of the accretionary prism in Chile and extend into the earliest stage of the accretion, in a retrowedge position. The Arroyo del Torreón and Huaraco formations are considered to be retrowedge basin deposits to the early frontal accretionary prism (Eastern Series) of Chile. The presence of volcanism with arc signature in the units provides evidence of a Mississippian magmatic arc that can be correlated with limited exposures of the same age in the Frontal Cordillera (Argentina). The arc would have migrated to the West (Coastal Batholith) during Pennsylvanian-Permian times (coevally with the later basal accretionary prism/Western Series). The source of a conspicuous population of Devonian detrital zircon interpreted to be of magmatic origin in the studied units is discussed in various possible geotectonic scenarios, the preferred model being a magmatic arc developed in the Chilenia block, related to a west-dipping subduction beneath Chilenia before and shortly after its collision against Cuyania/Gondwana, at around 390 Ma and not linked to the independent, Devonian-Mississippian arc, developed to the south, in Patagonia. © 2012 Springer-Verlag.

Chernicoff C.J.,CONICET | Zappettini E.O.,Argentine Geological Mining Survey SEGEMAR | Peroni J.,Argentine Geological Mining Survey SEGEMAR
Geoscience Frontiers | Year: 2014

The amalgamation of the southern Río de la Plata craton involves two possibly coeval Rhyacian sutures associated with the Transamazonian orogeny, rather than a single one as previously envisaged, i.e. the El Cortijo suture zone and the Salado suture. We circumscribe the Tandilia terrane to the region between these two sutures. The El Cortijo suture zone runs along a roughly WNW oriented magnetic low aligned along the southern boundary of the Tandilia terrane, i.e. boundary between the Tandilia and Balcarce terranes. This extensive magnetic low, ca. 300 km long, and ca. 90 km wide, would be caused by demagnetization associated with shearing. At a more local scale, the trend of the El Cortijo suture zone often turns toward the E-W. At this scale, WNW trending tholeiitic dykes of Statherian age are seen to cut the Rhyacian El Cortijo suture zone. Spatially associated with the El Cortijo suture zone, there are small magnetic highs interpreted to be related to unexposed basic bodies of ophiolitic nature related to those forming part of the El Cortijo Formation. We envisage the pre-Neoproterozoic evolution of the Tandilia belt to have been initiated by the extension of Neoarchean (∼2650 Ma) crust occurred during Siderian times (2500-2300 Ma), causing the separation between the Balcarce, Tandilia and Buenos Aires terranes, and the development of narrow oceans at both north and south sides of the Tandilia terrane, accompanied by ∼2300-2200 Ma sedimentation over transitional -continental to oceanic- crust, and arc magmatism developed in the Tandilia terrane. The island arc represented by the El Cortijo Formation was also developed at this time. At late Rhyacian times, it occurred in both the closure of the narrow oceans developed previously, the entrapment of the El Cortijo island arc, as well as anatectic magmatism in the Balcarce terrane. © 2013, China University of Geosciences (Beijing) and Peking University.

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