2015: Did the Turonian–Coniacian plume pulse trigger subduction initiation in the Northern Caribbean? Constraints from 40Ar/39Ar dating of the Moa-Baracoa metamorphic sole (eastern Cuba)

Did the Turonian–Coniacian plume pulse trigger subduction initiation in the Northern Caribbean? Constraints from 40Ar/39Ar dating of the Moa-Baracoa metamorphic sole (eastern Cuba)

Abstract

The Güira de Jauco metamorphic sole, below the Moa-Baracoa ophiolite (eastern Cuba), contains strongly deformed amphibolites formed at peak metamorphic conditions of 650–660°C, approximately 8.6 kbar (~30 km depth). The geochemistry, based on immobile elements of the amphibolites, suggests oceanic lithosphere protholiths with a variable subduction component in a supra-subduction zone environment. The geochemical similarity and tectonic relations among the amphibolites and the basic rocks from the overlying ophiolite suggest a similar origin and protholith. New hornblende 40Ar/39Ar cooling ages of 77–81 Ma obtained for the amphibolites agree with this hypothesis, and indicate formation and cooling/exhumation of the sole in Late Cretaceous times. The cooling ages, geochemical evidence for a back-arc setting of formation of the mafic protoliths, and regional geology of the region allow proposal of the inception of a new SW-dipping subduction zone in the back-arc region of the northern Caribbean arc during the Late Cretaceous (ca. 90–85 Ma). Subduction inception was almost synchronous with the main plume pulse of the Caribbean–Colombian Oceanic Plateau (92–88 Ma) and occurred around 15 million years before arc-continent collision (75 Ma–Eocene) at the northern leading edge of the Caribbean plate. This chronological framework suggests a plate reorganization process in the region triggered by the Caribbean–Colombian mantle plume.

Keywords: ophiolite; metamorphic sole; Ar/Ar; Cuba; Caribbean–Colombian Oceanic Plateau

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To Cite this article: Lázaro,C., García-Casco, A., Blanco-Quintero, I.F., Rojas-Agramonte, Y., Corsini, M., Proenza, J.A. (2015): Did the Turonian–Coniacian plume pulse trigger subduction initiation in the Northern Caribbean? Constraints from 40Ar/39Ar dating of the Moa-Baracoa metamorphic sole (eastern Cuba). International Geology Review,57, 919-942.

DOI: 10.1080/00206814.2014.924037

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