TITLE

The Gondwana-South America Iapetus margin evolution as recorded by Lower Paleozoic units of western Precordillera, Argentina: The Bonilla Complex, Uspallata

AUTHOR(S)
GREGORI, Daniel A.; MARTINEZ, Juan C.; BENEDINI, Leonardo
PUB. DATE
January 2013
SOURCE
Instituto Superior de Correlacion Geologica, Serie Correlacion G;Jan2013, Vol. 29 Issue 1, p21
SOURCE TYPE
Academic Journal
DOC. TYPE
Article
ABSTRACT
The Cambro-Ordovician belt of western Precordillera, that includes slightly metamorphosed sandstones and pelites with interbedded basalts and ultramaic bodies, were considered part of the allochthonous Cuyania Terrane, accreted to Gondwana South America during Ordovician times. The Bonilla Complex, which represents the southern tip of the Precordillera, is constituted of metasedimentary rocks of internal and external platform environments. Paleocurrents inferred from sedimentary structures indicate provenance from the northeast and southeast (actual coordinates). The limestones of this complex, located in the eastern part of the outcrops, suggest evolution toward a carbonate-dominated Late Neoproterozoic to Cambrian passive margin. Maic volcanic rocks were emplaced coevally with sedimentation, whereas ultramaic rocks were later tectonically emplaced. Chemical evidence suggests that the protolith of the metasedimentary rocks was derived from an older exhumed felsic basement belonging to an upper continental crust. The most prominent population of detrital zircons (~500-600 Ma) from the Bonilla Complex support the hypothesis that these rocks are equivalent to those of the Sierras Pampeanas and the northern Patagonia. The most proximal source of the Pampean zircons found in the Bonilla Complex is the Sierras Pampeanas, located immediately to the east (present coordinates). The Bonilla Complex was deposited in an open marine basin considerably earlier (~50 Ma) than the supposed detachment of the Cuyania Terrane from the Ouachita embayment in the Laurentia margin. It is therefore not necessary to invoke the presence of an allochthonous terrane between the Bonilla Complex and the Gondwana margin to explain the 1 Ga zircon populations. Silurian to Devonian deformation was characterized by metamorphism and imbrication within an accretionary prism, the consequence of eastward subduction in the western margin of Gondwana. Therefore, the Bonilla Complex, as well as equivalent units in western Precordillera, was originally deposited as sediments on a continental shelf at the southwestern margin of Gondwana, covering a basement that was already part of the Gondwana continent by Neoproterozoic-Cambrian times.
ACCESSION #
88018495

 

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