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Andean geology

versión On-line ISSN 0718-7106

Resumen

MAKSAEV, Víctor; MUNIZAGA, Francisco; VALENCIA, Víctor  y  BARRA, Fernando. LA-ICP-MS zircon U-Pb geochronology to constrain the age of post-Neocomian continental deposits of the Cerrillos Formation, Atacama Region , northern Chile: tectonic and metallogenic implications. AndGeo [online]. 2009, vol.36, n.2, pp.264-287. ISSN 0718-7106.

New U-Pb zircon dating of volcamc intercalations in the lower conglomeratic part of the Cerrillos Formation shows that its deposition extended in time at least from 110.7±1.7 to 99.7±1.6 Ma. The significantly younger U-Pb zircon age of 69.5±1.0 Ma obtained for the upper volcamc part of the Cerrillos Formation suggests recurrence of volcanism in the Late Cretaceous instead of continual volcanic activity. A minimum late Maastrichtian age for the Cerrillos Formation and its initial deformation was determined by the U-Pb zircon age range from 66.9±1.0 to 65.2±1.0 Ma for the lower part of the unconformably overlying Hornitos Formation. The new U-Pb data for the Cerrillos and Hornitos formations poses questions about the Campanian-Maastrichtian age range currently ascribed to the latter. The lower part of the Cerrillos Formation represents a major change in the sedimentary regime from previous marine carbonate sedimentation in a back-arc basin until the late Aptian to subsequent coarse alluvial sedimentation and volcanism since the early Albian. The lower part of the Cerrillos Formation is interpreted as the development of coalescent alluvial fans thinning inland, accompanied by volcanism. These developed as the result of transpressive deformation and uplift of the area of the current Coastal Cordillera by late Aptian, leading to subsequent active erosion and sedimentation inland, along with the eastward shift of the magmatic foci in the Región . Amineralizing period of Cu-Au porphyries overlaps in time with the deposition of the Cerrillos Formation in northern Chile; marking also a significant change in the metallogeny of the Andes of northern Chile.

Palabras clave : Cretaceous; Andes, U-Pb Geochronology; Cerrillos Formation; Porphyry copper.

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