Original paper

Geothermobarometry of very low-grade metamorphic pelites of the Vendian–Early Cambrian Puncoviscana Formation (NW Argentina)

Campo, Margarita Do; Collo, Gilda; Nieto, Fernando

Abstract

The Vendian–Early Cambrian Puncoviscana Formation is a pelite-greywacke turbidite sequence affected by polyphase deformation cropping out extensively in the Cordillera Oriental of northwestern Argentina. Previous X-ray diffraction and analytical high-resolution TEM studies on southern locations found anchizonal grade and proposed medium–high pressure metamorphism followed by higher thermal conditions. We have determined the chemical composition of mica and chlorite with EDX on small uncontaminated areas selected using SEM in backscattered electron mode. The application of mica-chlorite geothermobarometry to mineral grains defining two different foliations has produced consistent pressure/temperature results based on the intersection of six reactions: 9 kbar/250 °C peak conditions were followed by an isothermal decompression to 3 kbar and a successive increase of temperature to nearly 350 °C at 1.5 kbar. The shales from the overlying Mesón and Santa Victoria Cambro–Ordovician groups do not contain chlorite, thus chlorite-mica geothermobarometry could not be applied. According to the range of KICIS obtained (0.41–0.68Δ°2) and their mineralogical assemblage (illite ± kaolinite ± corrensite + Qtz + Pl ± Kfs), these rocks have not surpassed diagenetic conditions, which implies a minimum temperature difference with the Puncoviscana Formation of 100 °C, consistent with the sharp angular unconformity between the two units.

Keywords

chloriteedxkubler indexp-t-time pathsphengitescanning electron microscopythermobarometry