Vol 61, Núm. 3, 2009, P. 451-483.

Interacción termal entre magmas graníticos laramídicos y rocas encajonantes mesoproterozoicas: Historia de enfriamiento de intrusivos de la Sierrita Blanca, NW Sonora

Thermal interaction between Laramide granitic magmas and Mesoproterozoic country rocks: thermochronology of intrusives of Sierrita Blanca, NW Sonora

Mónica A. Enríquez–Castillo1,2,*, Alexander Iriondo2, Gabriel Chávez–Cabello1 y Michael J. Kunk3

1 Facultad de Ciencias de la Tierra, Universidad Autónoma de Nuevo León, Apartado Postal 104, km 8, Carretera Linares–Cerro Prieto, Linares, NL 67700, México.
2 Centro de Geociencias, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Campus Juriquilla, Querétaro, Qro., 76230, México.
3 U.S. Geological Survey, MS 926A National Center, Reston, Virginia, 20192, USA.

* This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .


A semi–quantitative thermochronological study, combining U–Pb and 40Ar/39Ar geochronology, has allowed assessment of the crystallization and cooling history of the Laramide Sierrita Blanca granite as well as the thermal effects resulting from the intrusion into the Mesoproterozoic host rocks (~1.1 Ga Murrieta granite).

The U–Pb zircon age discrepancy between two samples of the Sierrita Blanca granite (72.6 ± 1.2 Ma and 69.7 ± 1.0 Ma) could be explained by a process of faster magma cooling in the contact zone with the host Murrieta granite. However, that the Sierrita Blanca granitic unit was made up of multiple intrusions of similar compositions emplaced relatively close in time cannot be discarded. The 40Ar/39Ar ages of both biotite and K–feldspar for the granite collected close to the contact are also signifcantly older than the ages for the sample collected in a more internal zone of the intrusion. The initial cooling of the Sierrita Blanca granite was fairly fast and monotonous from the closure temperature of zircon to that of biotite (~36–32°C/Ma). Subsequently, the cooling of these Laramide rocks became relatively slow (~10–9°C/Ma) between the closure temperature of biotite and K–feldspar. These estimated cooling rates are similar, perhaps slightly slower, to the ones estimated for other Laramide granitoids in NW Mexico.

Three samples of the host Murrieta granite, collected at different distances from the Laramide intrusion, were dated by U–Pb zircon geochronology at ~1.1 Ga, reiterating that the U–Pb zircon systematics are quite resistant to thermal effects inficted by intrusions like the one in the Sierrita Blanca. However, close inspection of the U–Pb zircon data suggests the presence of Pb loss for some of the zircons. This Pb–loss phenomenon is most pronounced in the zircons from the sample collected at the contact with the Sierrita Blanca intrusive where heat and/or hydrothermal fuids are released by the Laramide intrusion. It is important to note that away from the intrusion–host contact there is a gradual decrease of such thermal effects in the rocks until samples with zircons that show no effects of resetting as suggested by their total U–Pb zircon concordance. This thermal resetting is more prominent in the 40Ar/39Ar systematics of biotite and K–feldspar, since they are totally reset to Laramide ages, including the sample collected the farthest away from the contact. The estimation of post–resetting cooling of biotite and K–feldspar from the host rocks at ~18–15°C/Ma is, in a sense, coherent with the cooling estimates for the same minerals for the Sierrita Blanca granite. This suggests that the general cooling of the Sierrita Blanca after the Laramide intrusion was, for the most part, coherent for the entire area and ended, as expected, in the more internal zones of the Laramide intrusion. Lastly, it is important to point out that the Miocene magmatic pulse present in the Sierrita Blanca and adjacent areas has not caused any thermal disturbance to the Cretaceous or Mesoproterozoic igneous rocks studied in the area.

Keywords: Thermochronology, U–Pb and 40Ar/39Ar Geochronology, Laramide, Mesoproterozoic, isotopic resetting.