Geochemistry and provenance of the Ordovician metasediments from La Cébila metamorphic complex, La Rioja province, Argentina

  • Sebastián O. Verdecchia Centro de Investigaciones en Ciencias de la Tierra (CICTERRA) – CONICET, Facultad de Ciencias Exactas, Físicas y Naturales, Universidad Nacional de Córdoba, Av. Veléz Sarsfields 1611, C. P. X5016CGA, Córdoba, Argentina.
  • Edgardo G. Baldo Centro de Investigaciones en Ciencias de la Tierra (CICTERRA) – CONICET, Facultad de Ciencias Exactas, Físicas y Naturales, Universidad Nacional de Córdoba, Av. Veléz Sarsfields 1611, C. P. X5016CGA, Córdoba, Argentina.
Keywords: Geochemistry, metasediments, retro-arc basin, Famatinian orogeny, La Cébila metamorphic complex, Argentina.

Abstract

The Famatinian orogenic belt of Early Palaeozoic age (Late Cambrian to Middle Ordovician) represents part of the Gondwana southwestern paleo-margin evolution within the pre-Andean basement of central-western Argentina. This belt is composed of igneous rocks with arc signature, a sedimentary succession of marine and volcaniclastic origin and low- to medium-pressure metamorphic units. One of such units is the La Cébila metamorphic complex (LCMC, Early to Middle Ordovician), which includes low- to high-grade metasedimentary successions composed mainly of phyllosilicate-rich (phyllite, mica schists and migmatites) and quartz-feldspar-rich (metapsammite, quartz-mica schists and quartzites) rock types.
The current geochemical signal of metasediments from LCMC allows comparing them with at least three primary compositions referring to pelitic, psammites and quartz-psammites lithology types. This suggests that the protolith composition was not substantially altered during the metamorphic event. Low La/Th ratios (2.4–4.5; n = 7) and Hf contents (3.5–11.0; n = 7) , in addition to the absence of detrital zircon ages from the Famatinian volcanic arc (located to the west), suggest a provenance from a source area of felsic composition, consistent with the Pampean basement (Early Cambrian to Middle Cambrian) located to the east (current coordinates).
The metasediments from the LCMC are geochemically equivalent to those of the Puncoviscana Formation (Late Neoproterozoic - Early Cambrian), showing minimal differences only in the content of some immobile (e.g., Zr and Ti) and mobile (e.g., K, Sr and Rb) elements. Consequently, major and trace elements are not reliable to differentiate between these two metasedimentary successions.

Published
2017-12-14
Section
Articles