Abstract

Upper Paleozoic to Triassic Chilean granitoids in the Andean Frontal Cordillera between 28°S and 31°S record crustal and mantle conditions at the Gondwana margin during the final assembly and initial breakup of the Pangea supercontinent. This period overlaps the end of Paleozoic terrane accretion and precedes Andean subduction. Integration of new trace-element and isotopic data with other information on the granitoids and the regional geology leads to a tectonic model that has implications for other parts of the Gondwana margin. In the model, the Carboniferous to Early Permian is a period of oblique convergence. Associated Elqui complex granitoids are diverse. Those in the Guanta and Montosa units are predominantly related to subduction processes, whereas those in the Cochiguás and El Volcán units are dominated by melting of the subduction complex and older crust. Progressive oblique collision of the last pre-Pangea terrane (Equis) along the margin resulted in crustal thickening associated with shortening deformation of foreland basinal sedimentary rocks and uplift of the Elqui complex. Subsequent gravitational collapse of the inactive slab and lithospheric delamination resulted in the production of large amounts of basalt, which intruded and melted the crust, producing the post-collisional Ingaguás complex. The Los Carricitos granitoids formed in thickened crust, whereas the Chollay, El Colorado, and El León units formed in thinner crust. The Ingaguás complex is part of the Choiyoi granite-rhyolite province, whose formation, similar to that of other Gondwana silicic provinces, was probably accentuated by anomalously hot upper mantle associated with the Pangea supercontinent.

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