Age and autochthonous evolution of the Sunsás Orogen in West Amazon Craton based on mapping and U-Pb geochronology

Joao Santos, G.J. Rizzotto, P.E. Potter, N.J. Mcnaughton, R.S. Matos, L.A. Hartmann, F. Chemale, M.E.S. Quadros

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    The West Amazon Craton consists of rocks of the Sunsás Orogen and the Rondônia-Juruena Province. The Sunsás Orogen comprises the western part of the Amazon Craton in South America and is best exposed in eastern Bolivia and western Rondônia and Mato Grosso states of Brazil. The integration of available maps and isotopic data together with new U–Pb and Sm–Nd analyses from 20 samples (plus 55 earlier dates), establish the timing of geologic events in the West Amazon Craton from 1840 to 1110 Ma. To unravel the complex geologic history of the study area, we primarily sampled granitoids and gneisses to develop a better stratigraphy and secondarily to narrow the age gaps between known discordances. Four periods of orogenic activity are identified within the Sunsás Orogen: 1465–1427 Ma (Santa Helena orogeny), 1371–1319 Ma (Candeias orogeny), ca. 1275 Ma (San Andrés orogeny), and 1180–1110 Ma (Nova Brasilândia orogeny). Notable is the absence of an Ottawan orogeny (1080–1020 Ma) equivalent. In the Rondônia-Juruena Province three main orogenies are recognized: the Juruena (1840–1780 Ma), the Jamari (1760–1740 Ma) and the Quatro Cachoeiras (1670–1630 Ma). Post-Sunsás rocks include Rondônia tin granites, Palmeiral sandstones, Nova Floresta basalt, and alkalic pipes. All inherited U–Pb ages of zircon and all exposed pre-Sunsás rocks in Bolivia have ages that correlate well to the neighbouring Rondônia-Juruena Province. This fact, together with the absence of fragments of older, Archean and Trans-Amazonian crust, suggests that the Sunsás Orogen is autochthonous and evolved over a continental margin formed dominantly by rocks of the Jamari (1760–1740 Ma) and Quatro Cachoeiras (1670–1630 Ma) orogenies plus rocks of the post-tectonic Serra Providência Suite (1560–1540 Ma). Almost all granulites known in Eastern Bolivia and in neighbouring area in Brazil are not basement rocks, but were formed during the Mesoproterozoic and are mainly associated with the Candeias orogeny (1371–1319 Ma). Dated samples of the Chiquitania and Lomas Manechi Complexes in Bolivia revealed a variety of ages and types of ages (metamorphic, magmatic, and inherited) indicating that those two units require more study. There is no evidence for the existence of a Paraguá Craton or Paraguá Block, which is almost totally composed of arc-related granites also formed during the Candeias orogeny.The main difference between the Sunsás Orogen and the Grenville Orogen of Laurentia is the absence in Amazonia of an Ottawan-equivalent orogeny (1080–1020 Ma). The existence of age-equivalents of the Candeias and Santa Helena orogenies in Laurentia (Pinwarian orogeny and rocks of the Eastern Granite-Rhyolite Province and the Composite Arc Belt) indicates that the connection of the two continents may have started from about 1450 Ma. In addition, the two belts may not have been directly juxtaposed, but instead, that one may have been the extension of the other during the Mesoproterozoic. The possibility that Amazonia joined the southwestern part of Laurentia also provides a good fit for the Hudson-Tapajós and Mazatzal-Yapavai-Rondônia-Juruena Provinces. This possible link to Laurentia may have started during the formation of the Trans-Hudson Orogen and its correlative Rondônia-Juruena and Tapajós provinces from about 1900 Ma.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)120-152
    JournalPrecambrian Research
    Issue number3-4
    Publication statusPublished - 2008


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