Middle-Late Jurassic to early Cretaceous transtension and transpression during arc building in central Chile: Evidence from mafic dike swarms Transtensión y transpresión del Jurásico Medio-Superior al Cretácico Inferior durante la construcción del arco magmático en Chile central: Evidencia a partir de enjambres de diques máficos
Keywords: emplacement, evolution, chile, geochronology, zone, structure, deformation, mechanism, setting, magmatism, boundary, coastal, anisotropy, cordillera, transpression, rock, shear, batholith, method, magnetic, transtension, crustal, mafic, lineament, mesozoic, tectonic, swarm, foliation, dike, observational, Jurassic-Cretaceous
The Middle-Late Jurassic mafic dike swarms of central Chile between 33° and 33°45'S register the tectonic activity of the contemporaneous arc represented by the Coastal batholith. These dike swarms evidence alternate episodes of transtension and transpression across NW-striking structures, which controlled the construction of the magmatic arc. The Middle-Upper Jurassic and Lower Cretaceous mafic dike swarms in the Coastal range of central Chile has been studied through field observations, geochronology and AMS (anisotropy of magnetic susceptibility) to document the tectonic and magmatic evolution of the Jurassic-Cretaceous arc at this latitude. Middle to Upper Jurassic dike swarms (Concón and Cartagena mafic dike swarms) were emplaced between 163 and 157 Ma, along NW-SE to WNW-ESE-striking host fractures, registering a first stage of magma emplacement under sinistral transtension. During this stage, dikes acquired a fabric characterized by magnetic foliation clockwise oblique to dike trend and gently plunging lineations. This stage was followed rapidly by dike emplacement under sinistral transpression, with associated steeply plunging lineations in the dikes, reverse shear zones in the country rocks and local occurrence of horizontal mafic dikes. On the other hand, the Lower Cretaceous El Tabo Dike Swarm was emplaced along tensile fractures that do not register shear displacements along their walls. These dikes were emplaced at shallower crustal levels along tensile fractures.Within each dike swarm, differences in the tectonic style of emplacement correlates with changes in the geochemical composition of the dikes, suggesting a strong coupling between tectonics and nature of magma supplies in the arc. Finally, the current results show that the Mesozoic evolution of the Coastal Batholith of central Chile occurred in several stages of deformation and not under a simple scenario of extensional tectonics. This magmatism and deformation were strongly controlled by NW- to WNW-striking fractures. These structures are spatially correlated with regional-scale Cenozoic lineaments that are oblique to the orientation of the Andean orogen. We suggest that these lineaments are features inherited at least from Jurassic times.
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