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The Taitao granites are distributed around the Late Miocene Taitao ophiolite (5.66 ± 0.33 Ma to 5.19 ± 0.15 Ma) exposed at the western tip of the Taitao peninsula, southern Chile, ~ 50 km southeast from the present day Chile triple junction. In this paper, we report sensitive high mass-resolution ion microprobe (SHRIMP) U–Pb ages for the Taitao granites to elucidate the temporal relationship between the ophiolite and granites, and discuss the origin of the granitic melts. Five intrusive bodies of the Taitao granites have U–Pb ages ranging from 5.70 ± 0.25 Ma (Tres Montes pluton in southeast) to 3.92 ± 0.07 Ma (Cabo Raper pluton in southwest). The Estero Cono, Seno Hoppner and Bahia Barrientos intrusions that fringe eastern margin of the ophiolite have U–Pb ages ranging from 5.17 ± 0.09 Ma to 4.88 ± 0.3 Ma. Recycled zircon cores are common only in the Tres Montes pluton. Our data indicate that the generation of the granitic melts started in the Tres Montes area when a short segment of the Chile ridge system started to subduct ca. 6 Ma ago. This magmatism involved contamination with sediments/basement rocks. A part of the subducting ridge center was emplaced to form the present Taitao ophiolite at ~ 5.6 Ma. Generation of granitic melts continued as the spreading center of the same ridge segment subducted, due perhaps to partial melting of the ophiolite and/or oceanic crust enhanced by heat from upwelling mantle beneath the ridge. Granitic magmas with various compositions developed during subduction of the ridge. Emplacement of the ophiolite and formation of continental crust took place almost simultaneously.


  • Lithos

    Lithos 113(1-2), 246-258, 2009-11

    Elsevier B.V.

Cited by:  3


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