Stratigraphy, geochemistry and tectonic significance of the Oligocene magmatic rocks of western Oaxaca, southern Mexico

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DOI: 10.1016/S0040-1951(99)00307-8



In Western Oaxaca, Tertiary magmatic activity is represented by extensive plutons along the continental margin and volcanic sequences in the inland region. K-Ar age determinations reported previously and in the present work indicate that these rocks correspond to a relatively broad arc in this region that was active mainly during the Oligocene (~ 35 to ~ 25 Ma). In the northern sector of western Oaxaca (Huajuapan-Monte Verde-Yanhuitlan), the volcanic suite comprises principally basaltic andesite to andesitic lavas, overlying minor silicic to intermediate volcaniclastic rocks (epiclastic deposits, ash fall tuffs, ignimbrites) that were deposited in the lacustrine-fluvial environment. The southern sector of the volcanic zone includes the Tlaxiaco-Laguna de Guadalupe region and consists of intermediate to silicic pyroclastic and epiclastic deposits, with silicic ash fall tuffs and ignimbrites. In both sectors, numerous andesitic to dacitic hypabyssal intrusions (stocks and dikes) were emplaced at different levels of the sequence. The granitoids of the coastal plutonic belt are generally more differentiated than the volcanic rocks that predominate in the northern sector and vary in composition from granite to granodiorite. The studied rocks show large-ion lithophile element (LILE) enrichment (K, Rb, Ba, Th) relative to high-field-strength (HFS) elements (Nb, Ti, Zr) that is characteristic of subduction-related magmatic rocks. On chondrite-normalized rare earth element diagrams, these samples display light rare earth element enrichment (LREE) and a flat pattern for the heavy rare earth elements (HREE). In spite of the contrasting degree of differentiation between the coastal plutons and inland volcanic rocks, there is a relatively small variation in the isotopic composition of these two suites. Initial 87Sr/86Sr ratios obtained and reported previously for Tertiary plutonic rocks of western Oaxaca range from 0.7042 to 0.7054 and ??Nd values, from -3.0 to +2.4, and for the volcanic rocks, from 0.7042 to 0.7046 and 0 +2.6. The range of these isotope ratios and those reported for the basement rocks in this region suggest a relatively low degree of old crustal involvement for most of the studied rocks. The Pb isotopic compositions of the Tertiary magmatic rocks also show a narrow range [(206Pb/204Pb) = 18.67-18.75; (207Pb/204Pb) = 15.59-15.62; (208Pb/204Pb) = 38.44-38.59], suggesting a similar source region for the volcanic and plutonic rocks. Trace elements and isotopic compositions suggest a mantle source in the subcontinental lithosphere that has been enriched by a subduction component. General tectonic features in this region indicate a more active rate of transtensional deformation for the inland volcanic region than along the coastal margin during the main events of Oligocene magmatism. The lower degree of differentiation of the inland volcanic sequences, particularly the upper unit of the northern sector, compared to the plutons of the coastal margin, suggests that the differentiation of the Tertiary magmas in southern Mexico was controlled to a great extent by the characteristics of the different strain domains. (C) 2000 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.

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Stratigraphy, geochemistry and tectonic significance of the Oligocene magmatic rocks of western Oaxaca, southern Mexico
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