A high-pressure folded klippe at Tehuitzingo on the western margin of an extrusion zone, Acatlán Complex, southern México

Gonzalo Galaz E.*, J. Duncan Keppie, James K W Lee, Amabel Ortega-Rivera

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    20 Citations (Scopus)


    High-pressure (HP) rocks at Tehuitzingo, on the western margin of the HP belt within the Paleozoic Acatlán Complex (southern México), occur in a klippe that was thrust over low-grade clastic rocks. The youngest detrital zircon cluster in the low-grade rocks yielded U-Pb ages of 481±16Ma, which provide an older limit for deposition. The HP rocks are composed of metabasites, serpentinite, granite (482±3Ma) and mica schist (youngest concordant detrital zircon: 433±3Ma). The schist and granite are inferred to be high-grade equivalents of lower Paleozoic, low-grade rocks exposed elsewhere in the Acatlán Complex, from which they are inferred to have been removed by subduction erosion. Mineral analyses indicate that the subducted rocks underwent HP metamorphism and polyphase deformation at depths of ~50km (~16kbar and 750°C: eclogite facies). Subsequent retrogression passed through epidote-amphibolite to greenschist facies, which was synchronous with W-vergent thrusting over the low-grade clastic rocks. Deposition of the low-grade rocks and thrusting are bracketed between either 481-329Ma (Ordovician-Mississippian), and was followed by F3 synformal folding. Cooling through ca. 385°C is indicated by 329±1 and 316-317±2Ma, 40Ar/39Ar muscovite plateau ages in HP rocks, which are 5-17 my younger than those of the adjacent Piaxtla eclogites suggesting younger exhumation. The petrology, P-T conditions and ages of the Piaxtla Suite is consistent with an extrusion channel within the Acatlán Complex along the active western margin of Pangea during the Carboniferous. Detrital zircon populations in the low-grade psammite (ca. 481, 520-650, 720, 750, 815, 890, 1050 and 2750Ma) and the HP schist (ca. 457-480, 534, 908, 954-1150, 1265, 1845 and 2035Ma) indicate derivation from the Ordovician Acatlán granitoids, Neoproterozoic Brasiliano orogens, 900-750Ma Goiás arc (Amazonia), 1-1.3Ma Oaxaquia, and more ancient sources in Oaxaquia/Amazonia.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)641-660
    Number of pages20
    JournalGondwana Research
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - Mar 2013


    • Acatlán Complex
    • Extrusion
    • Geochronology
    • P-T-t high-pressure metamorphism
    • Tectonics


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