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Sedimentary petrology and geochemistry of siliciclastic rocks from the upper Jurassic Tordillo Formation (Neuquén Basin, western Argentina): Implications for provenance and tectonic setting

AutorQueralt Mitjans, Ignacio ; Spalletti, Luis A.; Matheos, Sergio G.; Colombo Piñol, Ferrán; Maggi, Jorge
Palabras claveArgentina
Neuquén basin
Upper Jurassic
Sedimentary petrology
Fecha de publicaciónjun-2008
CitaciónJournal of South American Earth Sciences 25(4): 440-463 (2008)
ResumenThe Upper Jurassic Tordillo Formation is exposed along the western edge of the Neuquén Basin (west central Argentina) and consists of fluvial strata deposited under arid/semiarid conditions. The pebble composition of conglomerates, mineralogical composition of sandstones and pelitic rocks, and major- and trace-element geochemistry of sandstones, mudstones, and primary pyroclastic deposits are evaluated to determine the provenance and tectonic setting of the sedimentary basin. Conglomerates and sandstones derived almost exclusively from volcanic sources. The stratigraphic sections to the south show a clast population of conglomerates dominated by silicic volcanic fragments and a predominance of feldspathic litharenites. This framework composition records erosion of Triassic–Jurassic synrift volcaniclastic rocks and basement rocks from the Huincul arch, which was exhumed as a result of Late Jurassic inversion. In the northwestern part of the study area, conglomerates show a large proportion of mafic and acidic volcanic rock fragments, and sandstones are characterised by a high content of mafic volcanic rock fragments and plagioclase. These data suggest that the source of the sandstones and conglomerates was primarily the Andean magmatic arc, located west of the Neuquén Basin. The clay mineral assemblage is interpreted as the result of a complex set of factors, including source rock, climate, transport, and diagenesis. Postdepositional processes produced significant variations in the original compositions, especially the fine-grained deposits. The Tordillo sediments are characterised by moderate SiO2 contents, variable abundances of K2O and Na2O, and a relatively high proportion of ferromagnesian elements. The degree of chemical weathering in the source area, expressed as the chemical index of alteration, is low to moderate. The major element geochemistry and Th/Sc, K/Rb, Co/Th, La/Sc, and Cr/Th values point to a significant input of detrital volcanic material of calcalkaline felsic and intermediate composition. However, major element geochemistry is not useful for interpreting the tectonic setting. Discrimination plots based on immobile trace elements, such as Ti, Zr, La, Sc, and Th, show that most data lie in the active continental margin field. Geochemical information is not sufficiently sensitive to differentiate the two different source areas recognized by petrographic and modal analyses of conglomerates and sandstones.
Versión del editorhttp://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jsames.2007.08.005
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