Abstract

The Quadrilátero Ferrífero is a metallogenic district (Au, Fe, Mn) located in the southernmost São Francisco craton in eastern Brazil. It is composed of Archean granitoids, gneisses, and a greenstone belt sequence (Rio das Velhas Supergroup), overlain by a Proterozoic clastic-chemical sedimentary sequence hosting a thick Lake Superior-type banded iron formation (Minas Supergroup). A U-Pb study of the main units leads to the following conclusions: granitoid emplacement was dated at 2776 +7/-6 Ma and 2721 ± 3 Ma; two felsic volcanic rocks from the Rio das Velhas Supergroup yielded ages of 2776 +23/-10 Ma and 2772 ± 6 Ma. These data indicate that greenstone-belt volcanism was coeval with granitoid emplacement, a common feature of greenstone-belt terrains, but so far undocumented in the southern São Francisco shield. The younger granitoid intrusion marks the stabilization of the shield in Late Archean time. Zircon cores older than 2776 Ma, together with other data, indicate the presence of continental crust 2.88-3.1 Ga old in the Quadrilátero Ferrífero. A detrital zircon from the uppermost formation in the Minas Supergroup (Sabará Formation) is concordant at 2125 ± 4 Ma and provides the first age constraint on the deposition of the Supergroup. Monazite from two pegmatites and titanite from an amphibolite enclave in gneisses from the Bação Complex, in central Quadrilátero Ferrífero, yielded ages between 2060 Ma and 2030 Ma. These data may constrain the minimum age for the deposition of the Minas Supergroup. In addition, they indicate that the Early Proterozoic Transamazomian orogeny is represented by amphibolite-facies metamorphism and partial melting of Archean crust.

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