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The Quebradagrande Complex: A Lower Cretaceous ensialic marginal basin in the Central Cordillera of the Colombian Andes

Nivia, Alvaro, Marriner, Giselle F., Kerr, Andrew Craig and Tarney, John 2006. The Quebradagrande Complex: A Lower Cretaceous ensialic marginal basin in the Central Cordillera of the Colombian Andes. Journal of South American Earth Sciences 21 (4) , pp. 423-436. 10.1016/j.jsames.2006.07.002

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Abstract

The Quebradagrande Complex of Western Colombia consists of volcanic and Albian–Aptian sedimentary rocks of oceanic affinity and outcrops in a highly deformed zone where spatial relationships are difficult to unravel. Berriasian–Aptian sediments that display continental to shallow marine sedimentary facies and mafic and ultramafic plutonic rocks are associated with the Quebradagrande Complex. Geochemically, the basalts and andesites of the Quebradagrande Complex mostly display calc-alkaline affinities, are enriched in large-ion lithophile elements relative to high field strength elements, and thus are typical of volcanic rocks generated in supra-subduction zone mantle wedges. The Quebradagrande Complex parallels the western margin of the Colombian Andes’ Central Cordillera, forming a narrow, discontinuous strip fault-bounded on both sides by metamorphic rocks. The age of the metamorphic rocks east of the Quebradagrande Complex is well established as Neoproterozoic. However, the age of the metamorphics to the west – the Arquía Complex – is poorly constrained; they may have formed during either the Neoproterozoic or Lower Cretaceous. A Neoproterozoic age for the Arquía Complex is favored by both its close proximity to sedimentary rocks mapped as Paleozoic and its intrusion by Triassic plutons. Thus, the Quebradagrande Complex could represent an intracratonic marginal basin produced by spreading-subsidence, where the progressive thinning of the lithosphere generated gradually deeper sedimentary environments, eventually resulting in the generation of oceanic crust. This phenomenon was common in the Peruvian and Chilean Andes during the Uppermost Jurassic and Lower Cretaceous. The marginal basin was trapped during the collision of the Caribbean–Colombian Cretaceous oceanic plateau, which accreted west of the Arquía Complex in the Early Eocene. Differences in the geochemical characteristics of basalts of the oceanic plateau and those of the Quebradagrande Complex indicate these units were generated in very different tectonic settings.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Earth and Ocean Sciences
Subjects: Q Science > QE Geology
Uncontrolled Keywords: Continental active margin; Back arc basin; Extensional tectonics; Ophiolitic complexes
Publisher: Elsevier
ISSN: 0895-9811
Last Modified: 04 Jun 2017 02:08
URI: http://orca.cf.ac.uk/id/eprint/9603

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