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Geochemistry of the Ediacaran–Early Cambrian transition in Central Iberia: Tectonic setting and isotopic sources

AuthorsFuenlabrada, J. M.; Pieren, A. P.; Díez Fernández, Rubén; Sánchez-Martínez, S.; Arenas, Ricardo
KeywordsEdiacaran-Cambrian transition
Whole-rock geochemistry
Sedimentary rocks
Sm-Nd isotope geochemistry
Iberian Massif
Issue Date20-Jun-2016
CitationTectonophysics 681: 15-30 (2016)
AbstractA complete Ediacaran–Early Cambrian stratigraphic transition can be observed in the southern part of the Central Iberian Zone (Iberian Massif). Two different stratigraphic units, underlying Ordovician series, display geochemical and Sm–Nd isotopic features in agreement with an evolving geodynamic setting. Pusa Shales (Early Cambrian) rest unconformably on greywackes of the Lower Alcudian Formation (Late Ediacaran). Both sequences present minor compositional variations for major and trace element contents and similar REE patterns, close to those of PAAS (Post Archean Australian Shale). Trace element contents and element ratios suggest mixed sources, with intermediate to felsic igneous contributions for both units. Tectonic setting discrimination diagrams for the Ediacaran greywackes indicate that these turbiditic series were deposited in a sedimentary basin associated with a mature active margin (volcanic arc). However, the compositions of the Cambrian shales fit better with a more stable context, a back-arc or retro-arc setting. εNd(T) and TDM ages are compatible with dominance of a similar cratonic source for both sequences, probably the West Africa Craton. εNd565 values for the Ediacaran greywackes (− 3.0 to − 1.4) along with TDM ages (1256–1334 Ma) imply a significant contribution of juvenile material, probably derived from the erosion of the volcanic arc. However, εNd530 values in the Cambrian shales (− 5.2 to − 4.0) together with older TDM ages (1444–1657 Ma), suggest a higher contribution of cratonic isotopic sources, probably derived from erosion of the adjacent mainland. Coeval with the progressive cessation of arc volcanism along the peri-Gondwanan realm during the Cambrian, there was a period of more tectonic stability and increasing arrival of sediments from cratonic areas. The geochemistry of the Ediacaran–Cambrian transition in Central Iberia documents a tectonic switch in the periphery of Gondwana, from an active margin to a more stable context related to the onset of a passive margin.
Publisher version (URL)https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tecto.2015.11.013
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