Abstract

At present, few paleomagnetic data exist to test tectonic models that link northern Mexico with the evolution of the southern Cordillera of North America. We present new paleomagnetic data for the Antimonio terrane in northwest Mexico. A moderate-inclination, dual-polarity yet secondary magnetization in Triassic-Jurassic strata of the Antimonio Formation and a primary remanence in Cretaceous igneous rocks (combined result: D = 338.9°, I = 57.4° α95 = 5.6°, k = 34.8; N = 20 sites) are interpreted to indicate stability of the Antimonio terrane with respect to the craton since the Late Cretaceous. A more important result, however, is a shallow-inclination, dual-polarity magnetization in Antimonio Formation strata that fails a fold test (D = 186.7°, I = −28.4°; α95 = 7.6°, k = 28.2; N = 14 sites). We interpret the shallow-inclination magnetization as a secondary remanence acquired during accretion of the Antimonio terrane to the North American margin in the Middle or Late Jurassic, or during deformation within an essentially autochthonous Jurassic continental arc.

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