2009: Fifty-five-million-year history of oceanic subduction and exhumation in the northern edge of the Caribbean plate (Sierra del Convento mélange, Cuba)

Fifty-five-million-year history of oceanic subduction and exhumation in the northern edge of the Caribbean plate (Sierra del Convento mélange, Cuba)

Abstract

Petrological and geochronological data of six representative samples of exotic blocks of amphibolite and associated tonalite-trondhjemite from the serpentinitic mélange of the Sierra del Convento (eastern Cuba) indicate counterclockwise P–T paths typical of material subducted in hot and young subduction zones. Peak conditions attained were ∼750 °C and 15 kbar, consistent with the generation of tonalitic partial melts observed in amphibolite. A tonalite boulder provides a U-Pb zircon crystallization age of 112.8 ± 1.1 Ma, and Ar/Ar amphibole dating yielded two groups of cooling ages of 106–97 Ma (interpreted as cooling of metamorphic/magmatic pargasite) and 87–83 Ma (interpreted as growth/cooling of retrograde overprints). These geochronological data, in combination with other published data, allow the following history of subduction and exhumation to be established in the region: (i) a stage of hot subduction 120–115 Ma, developed upon onset of subduction; (ii) relatively fast near-isobaric cooling (25 °C Myr−1) 115–107 Ma, after accretion of the blocks to the upper plate lithospheric mantle; (iii) slow syn-subduction cooling (4 °C Myr−1) and exhumation (0.7 km Myr−1) in the subduction channel 107–70 Ma; and (iv) fast syn-collision cooling (74 °C Myr−1) and exhumation (5 km Myr−1) 70–60 Ma.

Keywords: Ar/Ar dating; Caribbean subduction; cooling/exhumation rates; P–T–t paths; SHRIMP dating

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To Cite this article: Lázaro, C., García-Casco, A., Neubaurer, F., Rojas-Agramonte, Y., Kröner, A., Iturralde-Vinent, M.A. (2009): Fifty-five-million-year history of oceanic subduction and exhumation in the northern edge of the Caribbean plate (Sierra del Convento mélange, Cuba). Journal of Metamorphic Geology, 27, 19-40.

DOI: 10.1111/j.1525-1314.2008.00800.x

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