Provenance of Ordovician clastic sequences of the San Rafael Block (Central Argentina), with emphasis on the Ponón Trehué Formation

P. Abre, C. Cingolani, U. Zimmermann, B. Cairncross, F. Chemale

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)


The Ordovician Ponón Trehué Formation is the only early Palaeozoic sedimentary sequence known to record a primary contact with the Grenvillian-age basement of the Argentinean Cuyania terrane, in its southwards extension named the San Rafael block. Petrographic and geochemical data indicate contributions from a dominantly upper continental crustal component and a subordinated depleted component. Nd isotopes indicate εNd of -4.6, f{hook}Sm/Nd -0.36 and TDM 1.47Ga in average. Pb-isotope ratios display average values for 206Pb/204Pb, 207Pb/204Pb, and 208Pb/204Pb of 19.15, 15.69 and 38.94 respectively. U-Pb detrital zircon ages from the Ponón Trehué Formation cluster around values of 1.2Ga, indicating a main derivation from a local basement source (Cerro La Ventana Formation). The Upper Ordovician Pavón Formation records a younger episode of clastic sedimentation within the San Rafael block, and it shows a more complex detrital zircon age population (peaks at 1.1 and 1.4Ga as well as Palaeoproterozoic and Neoproterozoic detrital grains). Detailed comparison between the two Ordovician clastic units indicates a shift with time in provenance from localized basement to more regional sources. Middle to early Upper Ordovician age is inferred for accretion of the Cuyania terrane to the proto-Andean margin of Gondwana.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)275-290
Number of pages16
JournalGondwana Research
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2011


  • Cuyania terrane
  • Detrital zircon dating
  • Geochemistry
  • Isotope geochemistry
  • Ordovician Ponón Trehué and Pavón Formations
  • Provenance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geology


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