Geochronology and petrogenesis of intrusive rocks in the Coastal Cordillera of northern Chile: Insights from zircon U-Pb dating and trace element geochemistry
Two models have been proposed to explain the early Andean evolution of the southwestern margin of Gondwana; a model that assumes continuous subduction-related magmatism since the Carboniferous and a second involving subduction cessation during the pre-Andean stage (similar to 280-200 Ma) followed by subsequent reactivation at ca. 200 Ma. Here we provide new constraints regarding the onset of the Andean tectonic cycle and the transition between pre-Andean and early Andean stages (210-100 Ma) by performing a comprehensive study of the geochronology and petrogenesis of plutonic complexes from the Coastal Cordillera of northern Chile. We present the first zircon U-Pb geochronology and trace element dataset of intrusive rocks combined with whole-rock geochemistry for the early Andean stage. The oldest unit identified is a syenogranite dated at 246.7 +/- 3.9 Ma with a subduction signature, i.e., slightly peraluminous, enriched in LILE over HFSE, negative Nb-Ta and positive Pb anomalies, and strong REE fractionation, but also shows anorogenic features with an alkali-rich composition and high enrichment in rare earth and HFS elements compared to chondritic values. These characteristics are interpreted as representing a transitional, anorogenic event from the pre-Andean stage. In contrast, the second oldest magmatic eventwas dated at 211.4 +/- 1.2Ma and has a chemical composition consistent with Andean-related magmatismand its zircon composition is similar to those fromLate Triassic-Early Cretaceous units. Consequently, we conclude that the Andean orogeny started at ca. 210 Ma, before earlier estimates. Our study also supportsworks that indicate episodic high-flux magmatism and the eastward migration of themagmatic arc during the Mesozoic. Furthermore, the whole-rock Th/Yb and zircon U/Yb ratios show a trend fromthe Late Triassic to Late Jurassic of increasing depletion of themantle source. However, during the Early Cretaceous more variable and enriched signatures are observed, possibly related to changes in the tectonic regime. (C) 2021 International Association for Gondwana Research. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
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