The Chuacús Metamorphic Complex, central Guatemala: geochronological and geochemical constraints on its Paleozoic - Mesozoic evolution


  • L.A. SOLARI Centro de Geociencias, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México. Campus Juriquilla, 76230 Querétaro, México.
  • A. GÓMEZ TUENA Centro de Geociencias, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México. Campus Juriquilla, 76230 Querétaro, México.
  • F. ORTEGA GUTÍERREZ Instituto de Geología, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México. Ciudad Universitaria, 04510, México D.F., México
  • C. ORTEGA OBREGÓN Instituto de Geología, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de MéxicoCiudad Universitaria, 04510, México D.F., México



Chuacús Complex, Guatemala, U-Pb geochronology, Maya Block, Caribbean, Basement Tectonics


The Chuacús Metamorphic Complex is located in Central Guatemala, between the Polochic and Motagua fault zones. It is made up of complexly intercalated, mafic and felsic high-grade gneisses, amphibolites, pelitic and quartzofeldsphatic metasediments and subordinate marbles. Mafic dikes and lenses metamorphosed to amphibolite and eclogite facies are tholeiitic and similar to mid-ocean ridge basalts. In contrast, metamorphosed intrusives (gabbro, diorite and granite) are calc-alkaline and have the geochemical signature of arc magmas. Laser Ablation Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometry U-Pb zircon geochronology allows the recognition of three episodes of metamorphism. The first eclogite facies metamorphism (M1) is bracketed between Ordovician magmatism in the northern Chuacús Metamorphic Complex and the neighboring Rabinal granitic suite; the second corresponds to an Upper Triassic period of arc magmatism and migmatization (M2); the third high-grade metamorphic event (M3) occurred during the Late Cretaceous. The tectonic evolution of the Chuacús Metamorphic Complex began during the Early Paleozoic as a basin in the Rheic Ocean that received detrital material from the Maya Block, Acatlán and southeastern México. The Chuacús Metamorphic Complex evolved to an active margin that subducted to HP conditions during the Mid- Late Paleozoic, and then was exhumed and involved in two tectonothermal events during the Upper Triassic and Late Cretaceous. The Chuacús Metamorphic Complex was accreted to the southern Maya Block during the Late Cretaceous, as a result of the convergent tectonics between the latter and either the Greater Antillean arc or the Chortís Block


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