Barren Miocene granitoids in the Central Andean metallogenic belt, Chile: Geochemistry and Nd-Hf and U-Pb isotope systematics.

Katja Deckart, Estanislao Godoy, Alfredo Bertens, Ayesha Saeed


Four Middle-to-Late Miocene barren plutonic complexes that occur between the giant porphyry copper deposits of the central Chilean Andes were selected for U-Pb LA-ICPMS geochronology and Hf-isotope systematics on single zircon grains. Major and trace elements and Sr-Nd-Hf isotope whole rock geochemical studies were undertaken to compare with slightly younger or coeval barren and fertile intrusive rocks between 32° and 34°S. The studied granitoids yield resolvable crystallization ages of 11.3±0.1 Ma (Cerro Mesón Alto massif), 10.3±0.2 Ma (La Gloria pluton), 14.9±0.2 Ma/14.9±0.1 Ma (Yerba Loca stock) and 11.2±0.1 Ma/14.7±0.1 Ma (San Francisco Batholith). Major and trace elements discard an adakitic signature as suggested for coeval porphyric intrusions at 32°S, slightly younger mineralized porphyries at Río Blanco-Los Bronces deposit and other Cenozoic adakites. Volcanic host rocks are less fractionated than the intrusive rock units. The same observation can be made for the unmineralized northern plutons compared to the southern ones. Initial Sr-Nd isotope data show insignificant variation (0.703761-0.704118 and 0.512758- 0.512882), plotting in the mantle array. Trace element enrichment can be explained by addition of subducted-slab fluids and/or terrigenous sediments to the mantle wedge prior to and/or slight crustal input during magma ascent. Zircon grains separated from these barren intrusives share a similar initial εHf-data variation for the younger age group (10-12 Ma; 7.04-9.54) and show a more scattered range for the older one (14-15 Ma; 8.50-15.34); both sets plot between the DM and CHUR evolution lines. There is evidence that magma evolution was slightly distinct through time from older to younger barren magmatism, compared to a few fertile porphyritic rocks from Río Blanco-Los Bronces porphyry copper deposit. It is suggested that chronological inconsistencies within these complexes might be related to differential shortening across the NE-SW-trending Yeso Valley transfer fault, assumed as coeval, which also explains the local lack of easterly magmatic arc front migration.

How to cite this article Deckart, K., Godoy, E., Bertens, A., and Saeed, A., 2010, Barren Miocene granitoids in the Central Andean metallogenic belt, Chile: Geochemistry and Nd-Hf and U-Pb isotope systematics.: Andean Geology, v. 37, no. 1, p. 1-31., doi: