Tectonic evolution of the southwestern margin of Pangea and its global implications: Evidence from the mid Permian–Triassic magmatism along the Chilean-Argentine border

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The tectonic evolution of the southwestern margin of Pangea supercontinent is represented by the extensive late Paleozoic–Triassic magmatism along the southwestern margin of South America, including the Chilean Frontal Andes batholiths as part of the Choiyoi province. Several models have proposed cessation of subduction as the reason behind the vast amounts of felsic magmatism and apparent lack of typical arc magmas. Here, new U-Pb in zircon ages, and geochemical and isotope analyses (Rb-Sr, Sm-Nd, Re-Os) indicate that mid Permian–Triassic granitic magmatism originated in a subduction-related extensional setting (slab rollback). Subduction and anatexis of lower continental crust were the main magma-generation mechanisms, the latter caused by asthenospheric upwelling, decompression and subsequent accumulation of underplated basalts. A comparison with coeval igneous units along the Chilean-Argentine border allows extension of this model from at least 21° to 40°S. The key elements triggering slab rollback are low subduction plate velocities and convergence rates, which can be attributed to the assembly of Pangea supercontinent (mid Permian–Triassic). Therefore, subduction of the oceanic plate beneath South America has been a continuous process from early Paleozoic times onwards—rather than having a period without subduction before the onset of the Andean cycle as previous models have invoked. New geochronological constraints indicate that the peak of the voluminous crustal-derived magmatism and related explosive volcanism (Choiyoi province) was contemporaneous with the emplacement of the Emeishan and Siberian Traps LIPs, potentially conditioning the Earth system for the environmental collapse and biotic crises related to those LIPs. The observed tectonic changes, magmatism and related environmental implications could potentially be linked to the assembly of Pangea supercontinent.
Original languageEnglish
JournalGondwana Research
Pages (from-to)303-321
Number of pages18
Publication statusPublished - 2019

ID: 229147120