2010: Tectonomagmatic setting and provenance of the Santa Marta schists, northern Colombia: insights on the growth and approach of Cretaceous Caribbean oceanic terranes to the South American continent

Tectonomagmatic setting and provenance of the Santa Marta schists, northern Colombia: insights on the growth and approach of Cretaceous Caribbean oceanic terranes to the South American continent

Abstract

Metamorphosed volcano-sedimentary rocks accreted to the northern South American continental margin are major vestiges of the Caribbean oceanic plate evolution and its interactions with the continent. Selected whole rock geochemistry, Nd–Sr isotopes and detrital zircon geochronology were obtained in metabasic and metasedimentary rocks from the Santa Marta and San Lorenzo Schists in northernmost Colombia. Trace element patterns are characterized by primitive island arc and MORB signatures. Similarly initial 87Sr/86Sr-εNd isotopic relations correlate with oceanic arcs and MORB reservoirs, suggesting that the protoliths were formed within a back-arc setting or at the transition between the inta-oceanic arc and the Caribbean oceanic crust. Trace element trends from associated metasedimentary rocks show that the provenance was controlled by a volcanic arc and a sialic continental domain, whereas detrital U/Pb zircons from the Santa Marta Schists and adjacent southeastern metamorphic units show Late Cretaceous and older Mesozoic, Late Paleozoic and Mesoproterozoic sources. Comparison with continental inland basins suggests that this arc-basin is allocthonous to its current position, and was still active by ca. 82 Ma. The geological features are comparable to other arc remnants found in northeastern Colombia and the Netherland Antilles. The geochemical and U/Pb detrital signatures from the metasedimentary rocks suggest that this tectonic domain was already in proximity to the continental margin, in a configuration similar to the modern Antilles or the Kermadec arc in the Pacific. The older continental detritus were derived from the ongoing Andean uplift feeding the intra-oceanic tectonic environment. Cross-cutting relations with granitoids and metamorphic ages suggest that metamorphism was completed by ca. 65 Ma.

Keywords: Cretaceous; Caribbean plate; Provenance; Back-arc; U/Pb LAM-ICP-MS; Isotopes; Geochemistry; Colombia

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To Cite this article: Cardona, A., Valencia, V., Bustamante, C., García-Casco, A., Ojeda, G., Ruiz, J., Saldarriaga, M., Weber, M. (2010): Tectonomagmatic setting and provenance of the Santa Marta schists, northern Colombia: insights on the growth and approach of Cretaceous Caribbean oceanic terranes to the South American continent. Journal of South American Earth Sciences, 29, 784-804.

DOI: 10.1016/j.jsames.2009.08.012

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