Dating the Triassic continental rift in the southern Andes: the Potrerillos Formation, Cuyo Basin, Argentina
Keywords:Triassic, Cuyo Basin, Argentina, U-Pb zircon dating
AbstractThe Triassic successions of western Argentina commonly show thin pyroclastic levels intercalated within thick fluvial and lacustrine terrigenous deposits. The Potrerillos Formation is the thickest Triassic unit in the Cuyo Basin. It is composed of alternating cycles of gravelly- sandy- and muddy-dominated intervals, in which several laterally-continuous tuff horizons occur. U-Pb SHRIMP ages were determined on zircon grains from three tuff levels located between the lowermost and the middle sections of the Potrerillos Formation. The ages for the time of deposition of the tuffs are 239.2 ± 4.5 Ma, 239.7 ± 2.2 Ma and 230.3 ± 2.3 Ma (Middle Triassic). Chemical data indicate that these acid to intermediate volcaniclastic rocks are derived from coeval basic magmas displaying tholeiitic to slightly alkaline signatures. They are associated with the rift stage that followed the extensive post-orogenic volcanism of the Choiyoi Group, that in turn has been ascribed to slab break-off in neighbouring areas. Two of the studied samples also record a subpopulation of inherited zircon grains with crystallisation ages of 260-270 Ma. The latter are considered to be an indirect measurement for the age of the Choiyoi Group in the Cuyo basin. The rift-related Triassic event represents the culmination of the Gondwanian magmatic cycle, and is interpreted as the result of subduction cessation and anomalous heating of the upper mantle previous to the western Gondwana break-up.
The commercial rights of the printed and online versions of Geologica Acta are property of the UB, ICTJA, IDAEA and UAB, and Geologica Acta must be cited for any partial or full reproduction.
The opinions and conclusions stated in each article are the exclusive responsability of the authors and do not necessarily coincide with those of the above mentioned institutions UB, ICTJA, IDAEA and UAB.
Authors retain the copyright on their papers (accepted manuscript, uncorrected proof and published paper) and are authorized to post them on their own Web page or their institutional repositories. In all cases, the complete citation and a link to the Digital Object Identifier (DOI) of the article must be included.
The authors can use excerpts or reproduce illustrations of their papers in other works without prior permission of Geologica Acta provided the source of the paper including the complete citation is fully acknowledged.
Papers are distributed under the Attribution-Share Alike Creative Commons License. This license allows others to alter, remix or build upon a paper and the resulting work may be distributed under the same or similar license to this one.