Two crossite concentrates and one blueschist whole rock were analyzed by the K/Ar method. These samples belong to the high/intermediate pressure Western Series of the Chilean metamorphic basement and, in this area, are intruded by a small monzonite body. Ages obtained were 211 m.y. and 329 m.y. for the mineral concentrates and 211 m.y. for the whole rock. Discussion based on crystal size as a factor for retention of 40Ar during localized re-heating of the metamorphic rocks due to the monzonitic intrusion leads to the acceptance of 329 m.y. as the minimum age of crossite crystallization. This age agrees with the whole rock Rb/Sr limiting reference isochrons (273-342 m.y.) previously obtained for the metamorphic basement of Central Chile which did not include samples of the present area. This age provides the first evidence of a Paleozoic blueschist assemblage in the eastern Pacific border and would suggest the existence of a Late Paleozoic subduction zone along the western margin of South America.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Geochemistry and Petrology
- Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)
- Space and Planetary Science