Relation between intrusive and deformational processes in oblique subductive margins. The case of the zoned Flamenco pluton in northern Chile



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Rodríguez, Natalia and Díaz Alvarado, Juan and Fernández Rodríguez, Carlos and Breitkreuz, Christoph and Fuentes, Paulina and Merida, Gerardo (2021) Relation between intrusive and deformational processes in oblique subductive margins. The case of the zoned Flamenco pluton in northern Chile. Journal of South American earth sciences, 112 (103553). ISSN 0895-9811

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Oblique convergent margins, like the subduction of Phoenix beneath the South American plate during Jurassic and Early Cretaceous times, are characterized by strain partitioning and a positive feedback loop between strike-slip deformation and magma ascent along the magmatic arc.

Located in the Coastal batholith of northern Chile, the Flamenco pluton is one of the youngest Andean intrusives emplaced in the western active margin of South America. Besides an older SW domain of granodioritic rocks (c.a. 213 Ma), the NW and E domains of the Flamenco pluton were emplaced between 194 and 186 Ma. They present a normally zoned structure constituted by external gabbroic to Qtz-dioritic magmatic facies and tonalites and granodiorites located in inner areas of the intrusive body. These domains are separated by a central strip of stretched coarse-grained Crd-schists that presents ductile asymmetrical folding and S–C structures that point to the NW-directed displacement of the E domain of the pluton. This syn-emplacement shear zone shows kinematic compatibility and continuity to the north and south with folded and mylonitic metasediments out of the contact aureole of the pluton. Together, these segments constitute a large, steeply dipping sigmoidal structure of average N–S direction; the called here Chañaral transcurrent shear zone.

Contemporary to the emplacement of the Flamenco pluton, slight variations in the trend of the crustal-scale structure generated strike-slip and transpressive sectors along the Chañaral shear zone, which favored the access of intruding magmas to the final emplacement level. As a paradigmatic example, the curviplanar Flamenco shear zone, an internal, magmatic branch of the main structure that traverses the E domain of the pluton, is defined by the sinistral and reverse shearing under magmatic conditions of the previously mingled mafic and felsic batches. Consequently, the transpressive Flamenco shear zone is interpreted as an ascent conduit where gabbroic and granodioritic liquids interacted during the building of the intrusive body. In addition, these sheared rocks were affected by late textural coarsening processes that evidence the slow and cyclical cooling of the growing magma reservoir. In contrast with the steeply dipping contacts and structures found to the east, the NW domain of the pluton shows sharp and gently dipping contacts between almost horizontal magmatic layers. We suggest that the western block of the Chañaral shear zone was a relatively passive footwall dominated by horizontal flow trajectories and lower replenishment rates according to the inverse emplacement sequence, i.e., late external mafic batches intruded along the margins of the felsic core. The variable structural arrangement of the crustal rocks that hosted the Flamenco pluton was the result of the complex interaction between far-field and local, magmatic forces during the emplacement process, besides the interference with pre-Andean structures.

The presence of the Chañaral shear zone favoring the emplacement of the Flamenco pluton demonstrates that the Late Jurassic to latest Early Cretaceous Atacama Fault System had earlier precursors and both the magmatic arc axis and the transcurrent shear zones migrated landward during Jurassic times.

Item Type:Article
Uncontrolled Keywords:Zoned pluton, Shear zone, Oblique convergent margin, Syn-emplacement deformation, Deformation partitioning, Contact aureole
Subjects:Sciences > Geology > Geodynamics
Sciences > Geology > Petrology
ID Code:68501
Deposited On:03 Nov 2021 15:16
Last Modified:04 Nov 2021 07:51

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