Magnetic properties of the remagnetized Middle-Ordovician limestones of the Ponón Trehué Formation (San Rafael Block, central-western Argentina): Insights into the Permian widespread Sanrafaelic overprint

Sabrina Y. Fazzito, Augusto E. Rapalinia
Año de la publicación: 
2 016
Journal of South American Earth Sciences, Volume 70, October 2016, Pages 279–297
The widespread Sanrafaelic remagnetization reset most of the early Cambrian to mid-Ordovician carbonate platform of the Argentine Precordillera and the calcareous units of the San Rafael Block. We conducted a detailed rock-magnetic study on the Middle-Ordovician limestones of the Ponón Trehué Formation at both limbs of a tight anticline exposed in the San Rafael Block (Mendoza province, central-western Argentina) that are carriers of a syntectonic magnetization of Permian age. We found that the magnetic overprint in the Ponón Trehué Formation is carried by both pyrrhotite and magnetite, with goethite and subordinate haematite likely related to weathering. Hysteresis parameters, frequency dependence of magnetic susceptibility, Cisowski and modified Lowrie-Fuller tests suggest the presence of ultrafine particles of chemical origin. Demagnetization of natural remanent magnetization and of three-axis isothermal remanence confirm pyrrhotite and magnetite as important contributors to the remanence. Both minerals carry the same magnetic syntectonic component suggesting a coeval or nearly coeval remanence acquisition and therefore mineral formation. This and the results of the magnetic fabric analyses indicate an authigenic origin of the magnetic minerals during folding associated with the Sanrafaelic tectonic phase (ca. 280 Ma). Although the chemically active (oxidizing?) fluids expelled from the orogen as it developed in the early Permian is a viable explanation for the Sanrafaelic remagnetization, the role of the nearly coeval magmatism in Precordillera and the San Rafael Block remains to be properly evaluated.