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Significance of K-Ar dating of very low-grade metamorphism in Triassic-Jurassic pelites from the Coastal Range of central Chile

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K-Ar isotopic dating of very low-grade metamorphism affecting Triassic-Jurassic rocks in the Coastal Range of central Chile was carried out on whole rocks and their <2m size fractions. In the study area, a regional-burial low-grade metamorphism at anchizone conditions (T ≤ 190ºC) and low-pressure conditions (P ≥ 1.3 kbar) has been described. The highest observed temperatures are related to a contact metamorphism produced by nearby Jurassic intrusions, with a P-T estimate at the immediate contact zone of ~650-690ºC and 4 kbar. The whole-rock K-Ar age of 174 ± 5 Ma is interpreted as belonging to the contact metamorphism due to the intrusion of Jurassic plutons (165 ± 5 Ma to 175 ± 5 Ma). A time-interval of ~20 Ma between the diagenesis (206 Ma) and the anchizonal very low-grade metamorphism (181-184 Ma) is obtained, and a rate of subsidence of ~120 m/Ma is proposed for these Triassic-Jurassic basins. A thermal influence on the burial, very low-grade, regional metamorphism is invoked.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: June 1, 2004

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