Detrital zircon typology and U/Pb geochronology for the Miocene Ladrilleros-Juanchaco sedimentary sequence, Equatorial Pacific (Colombia): New constraints on provenance and paleogeography in northwestern South America
Keywords:Miocene, Ladrilleros-Juanchaco sedimentary sequence, Colombia western Cordillera, Provenance
Typology and internal texture analyses were performed on detrital zircons obtained from the Miocene sandstones of the Ladrilleros-Juanchaco sedimentary sequence (Colombia, Equatorial Pacific). This analysis was complemented with zircon U/Pb dating to identify typology-age associations as indicators of sediment provenance. Our results show that zircons with S and P dominant typologies have internal structures/zoning indicative of igneous, and potentially also metamorphic, origins. Morphometric results suggest limited transport from source areas. Both typology and U/Pb data point to the western Cordillera as the principal source of detrital materials for this sedimentary sequence. A paleogeographic reconstruction shows that, during the Late Miocene, significant portions of the western Cordillera were uplifted and actively eroding, thereby forming a fluvio-topographic barrier that prevented sediments from the central Cordillera reaching the Pacific basins. Exhumed Miocene plutons located along the axis of the western Cordillera may also have played a role as geomorphologically active massifs. This study demonstrates that typologic analysis on detrital zircon grains is a useful tool for establishing provenance and paleogeography in complex litho-tectonic areas where overlapping U/Pb signatures can lead to contradictory results.
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