Origin and age of coeval gabbros and leucogranites in the northern subprovince of the borborema province, NE Brazil

Ignez de Pinho Guimarães*, Adejardo Francisco da Silva Filho, Richard Armstrong

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    6 Citations (Scopus)


    The Paleoproterozoic Serrinha – Pedro Velho Complex comprises orthogneisses and migmatites, exposed in the south part of the Archean São José do Campestre Massif, Rio Grande do Norte domain of the Borborema Province, NE, Brazil. During the Ediacaran, the Serrinha - Pedro Velho Complex underwent metamorphism at HT/LP conditions in a tectonic setting dominated by dextral transpressive deformation, dated at ∼575Ma. Crustal melting generated various plutons and dykes of leucogranites with composition ranging from syeno-to monzogranites. Mafic rocks, including gabbros, norites and diorites also occur as dykes and small plutons intruded into the Serrinha - Pedro Velho Complex. Features of mixing and mingling between mafic and leucogranitic magmas were recorded locally. The granites and mafic rocks show field features and geochemical signatures of extension related magmatism. U-Pb SHRIMP zircon data yielded similar Concordia ages for felsic (582 ± 5 Ma) and mafic (588 ± 6 Ma) rocks. The leucogranites have strongly negative εNd (580 Ma) values (−19.8 to −24.3) and Paleoproterozoic to Archean Nd TDM model ages (2.2–2.6 Ga), similar to those recorded in the orthogneisses of the Serrinha - Pedro Velho Complex. The mafic rocks show slightly higher εNd (580 Ma) values (−13.09 to −19.63). The leucogranites were probably generated by partial melting of a source similar to the Serrinha Pedro Velho orthogneisses. The mafic rocks are MgO- rich, and the less evolved ones show picritic basaltic composition, similar to mafic rocks from continental flood basalt provinces. We suggest that melting of Paleoproterozoic ponds of picrite (plume related?) generated the mafic magmas studied that, subsequently, evolved by olivine and pyroxene fractionation at great depth and underwent contamination with crustal melts. In the studied area other Ediacaran extension related mafic rocks do occur. They have geochemical and isotopic signatures distinct from those recorded in Riachão mafic rocks. A Paleoproterozoic enriched mantle has been proposed as the source of these mafic rocks. The data suggest that extension and mafic magmatism favoured extensive melting of the Serrinha – Pedro Velho Complex at 582–588 Ma ago. A similar aged event is also recorded in southeastern Ghana, and interpreted as syn-orogenic extension related to the collisional orogeny at the margin of the West African craton.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)71-93
    Number of pages23
    JournalJournal of South American Earth Sciences
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2017


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