Identifying Laurentian and SW Gondwana sources in the Neoproterozoic to Early Paleozoic metasedimentary rocks of the Sierras Pampeanas: Paleogeographic and tectonic implications

Carlos W. Rapela*, Sebastian O. Verdecchia, Cesar Casquet, Robert J. Pankhurst, Edgardo G. Baldo, Carmen Galindo, Juan A. Murra, Juan A. Dahlquist, C. Mark Fanning

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    126 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    The provenance of Neoproterozoic to Early Paleozoic sedimentary rocks in the Sierras Pampeanas has been established using U-Pb SHRIMP age determination of detrital zircons in twelve metasedimentary samples, with supplementary Hf and O isotope analyses of selected samples. The detrital zircon age patterns show that the western and eastern sectors of the Sierras Pampeanas are derived from different sources, and were juxtaposed during the Early Cambrian 'Pampean' collision orogeny, thus defining initiation of the supercontinent stage of southwestern Gondwana. The Western Sierras Pampeanas (WSP), which extend northwards to the southern Puna (Antofalla) and the Arequipa Massif (Peru), constitute a single large continental basement of Paleoproterozoic age - the MARA block - that was reworked during the Grenvillian orogeny. The MARA block probably extends eastwards to include the Río Apa block (southern Brazil), but in this case without a Mesoproterozoic overprint. Detrital zircons from the WSP and Antofalla yield age peaks between 1330 and 1030 Ma, remarkably similar to the range of ages in the Grenville province of eastern Laurentia. The WSP Neoproterozoic sedimentary cover to this basement shows the same 1330-1030 component, but also includes important 1430-1380 Ma zircons whose juvenile Hf and O isotopic signatures strongly suggest derivation from the Grenville and the Southern Granite-Rhyolite provinces of eastern Laurentia. In contrast the Eastern Sierras Pampeanas metasedimentary rocks have a typically bimodal detrital zircon pattern with peaks at ca. 1000 and 600 Ma, which respectively indicate sources in the Natal-Namaqua belt and the East African orogen and/or the Dom Feliciano belt of SE Brazil and Uruguay. Sedimentary rocks in the Eastern Sierras Pampeanas and Patagonia deposited during the Late Early Cambrian-Early Ordovician interval, after the Pampean orogeny, have detrital patterns common to many sectors along the Terra Australis orogen, reflecting increasingly dominant input to the Paleozoic basins from the Neoproterozoic to Early Cambrian orogenic belts of the Gondwana margin.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)193-212
    Number of pages20
    JournalGondwana Research
    Volume32
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2016

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