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Pliocene-Holocene Rifting and Associated Volcanism in Southwest Mexico: An Exotic Terrane in the Making

By
J. F. Allan
J. F. Allan
Ocean Drilling Program-Texas A&M University College Station, Texas, U.S.A.
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S. A. Nelson
S. A. Nelson
Department of Geology Tulane University New Orleans, Louisiana, U.S.A.
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J. F. Luhr
J. F. Luhr
Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences Washington University St. Louis, Missouri, U.S.A.
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I. S. E. Carmichael
I. S. E. Carmichael
Department of Geology and Geophysics University of California Berkeley, California, U.S.A.
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M. Wopat
M. Wopat
Department of Geology and Geophysics University of California Berkeley, California, U.S.A.
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P. J. Wallace
P. J. Wallace
Department of Geology and Geophysics University of California Berkeley, California, U.S.A.
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Published:
January 01, 1991

Abstract

Three late Cenozoic rift systems—the northwest-trending Tepic-Zacoalco rift, the east-trending Chapala rift, and the north-trending Colima rift—intersect 50 km south-southwest of Guadalajara, Mexico to form a rift-rift-rift triple junction. These rifts structurally and topographically dominate the western part of the Mexican Volcanic Belt, a predominantly calc-alkaline continental arc. The Tepic-Zacoalco rift is the site of northwest-trending, late Cenozoic normal and right-lateral strike-slip faulting, whereas the Colima rift and its offshore extension (the Manzanillo Trough) overlies the subducting Rivera fracture zone, the boundary between the Rivera and Cocos plates. Together, the Colima and Tepic-Zacoalco rifts outline the Jalisco block. Associated with the rifts are 4.7 Ma to Holocene alkaline and peralkaline volcanic rocks, which are rarely found in continental volcanic arcs but are typical of continental rift zones. The alkaline volcanic rocks of western Mexico are thought to reflect rifting of the Jalisco block away from the Mexican mainland; the Jalisco block should eventually accrete to the Pacific plate. This rifting event represents the latest in a series of northward-propagating spreading-ridge jumps along the East Pacific Rise. Ongoing rifting in southwest Mexico may serve as a model for the rifting of Baja California, and for the origin of microplates and exotic terranes.

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Contents

AAPG Memoir

The Gulf and Peninsular Province of the Californias

J. Paul Dauphin
J. Paul Dauphin
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Bernd R. T. Simoneit
Bernd R. T. Simoneit
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American Association of Petroleum Geologists
Volume
47
ISBN electronic:
9781629811130
Publication date:
January 01, 1991

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