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Geochronology of very low-grade Mesozoic Andean metabasites; an approach through the K–Ar, 40Ar/39Ar and U–Pb LA-MC-ICP-MS methods

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posted on 21.06.2016 by VERóNICA OLIVEROS, LUIS AGUIRRE, DIEGO MORATA, ANTONIO SIMONETTI, MARIO VERGARA, MAURICIO BELMAR, SERGIO CALDERóN

Multiple geochronological methods using different metamorphic minerals were combined to date the regional, very low-grade metamorphism affecting Upper Jurassic–Lower Cretaceous volcano-sedimentary successions in the Andes of central Chile. Early Late Cretaceous metamorphic ages (between 82 and 108 Ma) were obtained by the K–Ar and U–Pb methods for celadonite and titanite. A much younger thermal event is responsible for actinolite formation at 8 Ma, most probably related to the intrusion of proximal Miocene granitoids. Previous models for the metamorphism should be reinterpreted taking into account the absence of a greenschist-facies event. The combination of different metamorphic minerals and chronometers is regarded as a powerful analytical tool to date the very low-grade metamorphism associated with the Mesozoic extensional regime developed within the Andes.

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