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ABSTRACT

The Oaxacan Complex is the largest outcrop of Grenville-age rocks in Mexico, constituting the main crustal fragment in the backbone of Oaxaquia. It is mainly composed of scarce metasediments, intruded by arc, alkalic, and tholeiitic magmas (ca. 1.3 to ca. 1.01 Ga) and later affected (ca. 0.99 Ga) by granulite-facies metamorphism. A detailed study, combining U-Pb geochronology by laser ablation–inductively coupled plasma–mass spectrometry, with in situ Hf isotopes in zircon grains, allowed comparison of the age and isotopic patterns of the Oaxacan Complex granulite rocks with those from other similar outcrops in Mexico (Huiznopala and Novillo Gneisses, Guichicovi Complex) and with the neighboring orogens such as the Grenville Province of the eastern United States and Canada, the Sveconorwegian orogen of SW Baltica, and some of the localities in which Mesoproterozoic rocks border the Amazonian craton of South America (Colombia, Peru, Brazil). Detrital zircon ages show that most metasedimentary rocks are younger than 1.4 Ga (only three samples contained zircon grains between 1.6 and 1.4 Ga), whereas U-Pb dating of igneous rocks (1245–1161 Ma) confirmed previous findings. Hf isotopes of dated zircon grains show that few crystals have negative εHf(t) values, indicating a recycling component from an older crust, but most of them are moderately primitive, with εHf(t) values of up to +12, and linear arrays parallel to the 176Lu/177Hf average crustal evolution model. Those Hf values are indicative of partial assimilation of an older crustal component, with Hf model ages of ca. 1.65–1.50 Ga. Comparison of these data helps to constrain possible Mesoproterozoic conjugate margins of Oaxaquia and propose a paleogeographic model in which Oaxaquia acted as the leading edge of Amazonia, together with the Colombian terranes, and received sedimentary input from different sources such as the southern Sveconorwegian orogen, the U.S.–Canada eastern Grenville Province, and some of the Mesoproterozoic belts bordering the Amazon craton.

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