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 Volume 1 Chapter 4

Chapter 4


Zircon U–Pb Geochronology and Hf–Nd–O Isotope Geochemistry of the Paleoproterozoic to Mesoproterozoic Basement in the Westernmost Guyana Shield   

Mauricio IBAÑEZ–MEJIA and Umberto G. CORDANI

https://doi.org/10.32685/pub.esp.35.2019.04


ISBN impreso obra completa: 978-958-52959-1-9

ISBN digital obra completa: 978-958-52959-6-4

ISBN impreso Vol. 1: 978-958-52959-2-6

ISBN digital Vol. 1: 978-958-52959-7-1​​


Citation is suggested as: 

Ibañez–Mejia, M. & Cordani, U.G. 2020. Zircon U–Pb geochronology and Hf–Nd–O isotope geochemistry of the Paleo– to Mesoproterozoic basement in the westernmost Guiana Shield. In: Gómez, J. & Mateus–Zabala, D. (editors), The Geology of Colombia, Volume 1 Proterozoic – Paleozoic. Servicio Geológico Colombiano, Publicaciones Geológicas Especiales 35, p. 65–90. Bogotá. https://doi.org/10.32685/pub.esp.35.2019.04


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Abstract 


The crystalline basement of eastern Colombia, east of the frontal deformation zone of the north Andean Eastern Cordillera, is comprised by Precambrian igneous, metamorphic, and sedimentary rocks of the western Guiana Shield. Designated in the late seventies with the all–embracing stratigraphic name of 'Mitú Migmatitic Complex', the age, petrology, and tectonic history of the Precambrian basement in eastern Colombia has remained one of the least explored issues in South American geology. This chapter aims to present a brief overview of recent advances made to improve our general understanding of the geology of this wide region, using a compilation of the available U–Pb, Sm–Nd, Lu–Hf, and δ18O isotopic data obtained using modern methods. Using all the available U–Pb geochronologic data we show that, in general: (i) The Precambrian basement of the western Guiana Shield exhibits magmatic crystallization ages in the range from ca. 1.99 to ca. 1.38 Ga, and (ii) that four broad periods of magmatic activity, two in the mid–to late–Paleoproterozoic (ca. 1.99 and ca. 1.81–1.72 Ga), one in the early Mesoproterozoic (ca. 1.59–1.50 Ga), and one in the mid Mesoproterozoic (ca. 1.41–1.39 Ga) dominate the geology of the area. The (whole–rock) Nd and combined (zircon) Hf–O datasets indicate a general lack of 'depleted mantle' like mid–Paleoproterozoic or Mesoproterozoic crust, thus indicating that either the Proterozoic sub–continental mantle in the region was not as radiogenic as global mantle evolution models would suggest, or that reworking of older crust might have played an important role in the geological and geochemical evolution of the western Guiana Shield. Therefore, although the geochronologic results confirm that most of the exposed basement in eastern Colombia can be broadly considered to be of Rio Negro–Juruena–like affinity, this belt exhibits some distinct isotopic characteristics relative to similar age domains exposed south of the Amazon Basin. Furthermore, we note that the geochronologic data obtained to this date has failed to clearly identify an early– to mid–Mesoproterozoic terrane boundary in the Colombian basement, thus opening the possibility that a Rondonian–San Ignacio–like province is not represented in the Guiana Shield. Based on these recent field, geochemical, and geochronological observations, we consider the long and extensively used term 'Mitú Migmatitic Complex' to be now inadequate and obsolete, and argue that the current state of the knowledge of the Colombian Precambrian basement is such that the community should move towards adopting more accurate and modern petrologic, tectonic, and stratigraphic nomenclature. Lastly, we note that the recent discovery of Cretaceous magmatism affecting the Colombian continental interior in the Araracuara basement high highlights the importance of Mesozoic tectonic reactivation in controlling the structural and landscape evolution of the Colombian Amazon. This observation indicates that future geochronologic studies aimed at better understanding the temporal history of mafic magmatism in this region will be crucial for understanding its structural and tectonic evolution.

 

Keywords: Amazonian Craton, Proterozoic tectonics, U–Pb geochronology, Lu–Hf isotopes, Sm–Nd isotopes.​



​Resumen


El basamento cristalino del oriente colombiano, al este del frente de deformación andino de la cordillera Oriental, está compuesto por rocas ígneas, metamórficas y sedimentarias precámbricas pertenecientes al Escudo de Guayana. Agrupadas en la década de los setenta dentro de una unidad estratigráfica conocida como 'Complejo Migmatítico de Mitú', la edad, petrología, e historia tectónica de las unidades del basamento precámbrico en el oriente colombiano han permanecido como uno de los problemas menos explorados de la geología suramericana. Este capítulo tiene como objetivo presentar una revisión breve sobre los avances hechos en los últimos años para mejorar nuestro entendimiento geológico de esta amplia región, a partir de una compilación de información isotópica obtenida usando los sistemas U–Pb, Sm–Nd, Lu–Hf y δ18O con métodos analíticos modernos. Considerando los datos de geocronología U–Pb disponibles observamos que en general: (1) el basamento precámbrico del límite occidental del Escudo de Guayana exhibe edades de cristalización en el rango de ca. 1,99 a ca. 1,38 Ga y (2) que cuatro principales eventos de actividad magmática, dos en el Paleoproterozoico medio a tardío (ca. 1,99 y ca. 1,81–1,72 Ga), uno en el Mesoproterozoico temprano (ca. 1,59–1,50 Ga) y uno en el Mesoproterozoico medio (ca. 1,41–1,39 Ga), dominan la geología de esta región. Las composiciones isotópicas de Nd en roca total junto con resultados conjuntos de isótopos de Hf y O en circón indican una ausencia generalizada de material directamente derivado del 'manto empobrecido' en este basamento paleo– y mesoproterozoico. Dicha observación puede deberse a dos motivos particulares: (1) que el manto sublitosférico proterozoico en la región no era tan radiogénico como la mayoría de los modelos globales de evolución mantélica sugerirían o (2) que el retrabajamiento de corteza continental más antigua podría haber jugado un papel importante en la evolución geológica y geoquímica del occidente del Escudo de Guayana. Por consiguiente, a pesar de que los resultados geocronológicos confirman que la mayor parte del basamento expuesto en el oriente colombiano puede considerarse a grandes rasgos como afín a la Provincia Río Negro–Juruena, la margen occidental del Escudo de Guayana presenta características isotópicas distintivas con respecto a los dominios de basamento de edad semejante expuestos al sur de la Cuenca del Amazonas. En adición a lo antedicho, observamos que la base de datos geocronológica existente no permite a la fecha identificar claramente una sutura mesoproterozoica temprana a media en el basamento del oriente colombiano, lo que sugiere la posibilidad de que un dominio de basamento afín a la Provincia Rondoniana–San Ignacio no este expresado en el Escudo de Guayana. Basados en las observaciones de campo, geoquímicas y geocronológicas presentadas en este capítulo consideramos que el término estratigráfico 'Complejo Migmatítico de Mitú', que ha sido ampliamente usado, resulta ahora inadecuado para describir la complejidad geológica del área y por consiguiente es obsoleto. En lugar de esto, consideramos que el estado del conocimiento geológico del oriente colombiano ha avanzado lo suficiente para permitir que una nomenclatura petrológica, tectónica y estratigráfica moderna, que describa con mayor exactitud la geología del área y por ende más apropiada, sea adoptada. Para concluir, también observamos que el descubrimiento reciente de magmatismo de edad cretácica que afecta el interior continental colombiano en el alto de basamento de Araracuara resalta la importancia que la reactivación tectónica mesozoica tuvo en el desarrollo estructural y geomorfológico de la Amazonia colombiana. Esta observación indica que los futuros estudios geocronológicos enfocados a comprender mejor la historia temporal del magmatismo máfico en esta región serán cruciales para mejorar nuestro entendimiento sobre la evolución estructural y tectónica del oriente colombiano.

 

Palabras clave: Cratón Amazónico, tectónica proterozoica, geocronología U–Pb, geoquímica isotópica Lu–Hf, geoquímica isotópica Sm–Nd.​


Abbreviations 


CG                                                     Cuchivero Group

CHUR                                             Chondritic uniform reservoir

DEM                                               Digital elevation model

DM                                                     Depleted mantle

GAG                                              Güejar–Apaporis Graben

GLOOS                                     Global subducted sediments

ID–TIMS                                   Isotope dilution thermal ionisation mass spectrometry

IGSN                                               International Geo Sample Number

KDE                                                 Kernel density estimate

LA–ICP–MS                        Laser ablation inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry

LIPs                                                 Large Igneous Provinces

MI                                                        Mauricio IBAÑEZ–MEJIA

MMC                                            Mitú Migmatitic Complex

MT                                                     Mud Tank

PP                                                       Putumayo Province

PRORADAM                      Proyecto Radargramétrico del Amazonas

REE                                                    Rare earth element

RNJP                                               Rio Negro–Juruena Province

RSIP                                                  Rondonian–San Ignacio Province

SHRIMP                                      Sensitive high–resolution ion microprobe

UGC                                                  Umberto G. CORDANI

VSMOW                                    Vienna standard mean ocean water

VTP                                                    Ventuari–Tapajós Province


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