Late Mesoproterozoic Deformation of SW Amazonia (Rondônia, Brazil) : Geochronological and Structural Evidence for Collision with Southern Laurentia

Eric Tohver, B.A. Van Der Pluijm, J.E. Scandolara, E.J. Essene

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    Proposed assembly of the Rodinia supercontinent in the late Mesoproterozoic involved the collision of the Amazon craton with some portion of the southern or eastern margin of cratonic North America. Previously reported paleomagnetic data from the SW Amazon craton suggest a paleogeographic link between “Grenvillian” deformation of the SW Amazon craton and late Mesoproterozoic tectonometamorphism in southern Laurentia. A structural, geochronological, and petrological investigation of the western Amazon basement rocks (Rondônia, Brazil) was carried out in order to document evidence of a Grenvillian collision connecting the Amazon to Laurentia. Integration of 40Ar/39Ar data and feldspar thermometry data from regionally extensive strike‐slip mylonitic shear zones (Ji‐Paraná shear zone network) indicates that deformation took place at 450°–550°C between 1.18 and 1.15 Ga. An older, ca. 1.35‐Ga event found exclusively in less‐deformed basement rocks is interpreted as recording cooling from an earlier metamorphic episode (650°–800°C indicated by feldspar thermometry) unrelated to the Grenville collision. The style of deformation in the SW Amazon craton contrasts with that observed in southern Laurentia, where extensive crustal thickening accommodated by deep‐seated thrust sheets resulted in widespread thermal resetting of isotopic systems during exhumation and postorogenic cooling. In contrast, the predominantly strike‐slip activity observed in the Amazon resulted in age resetting through strain‐induced recrystallization, not regional‐scale thermal resetting. Consequently, the ages recorded by hornblende in the SW Amazon craton are slightly older than the cooling ages preserved in southern Laurentia. Differences in structural style and geochronological record are interpreted as indicative of an exhumed, asymmetric crustal structure similar to that of modern orogens.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)309-323
    JournalJournal of Geology
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - 2005


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