Geology and paleomagnetism of El Potrero pluton, Baja California

Understanding criteria for timing of deformation and evidence of pluton tilt during batholith growth

Gabriel Chávez Cabello, Roberto Molina Garza*, Luis Delgado Argote, Rubén Contreras Flores, Elisa Ramírez, Amabel Ortega Rivera, Harald Böhnel, James Lee

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    9 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    The 102 Ma El Potrero pluton, in the western foothills of Sierra San Pedro Mártir, in north-central Baja California, was emplaced during a long period of contractional deformation bracketed between 132 and 85 Ma that affected this segment of the Peninsular Ranges Batholith. The pluton records regional and emplacement related deformation manifested by: (1) a solid-state fabric developed on its eastern contact, which is produced by eastward lateral pluton expansion; (2) cleavage triple point zones in the host-rock NW and SE of the pluton; (3) subhorizontal ductile shear zones indicative of top-to-the-east transport; (4) magmatic and tectonic foliations parallel to regional structural trends and regional shear zones; (5) variable axial ratios of microgranitoid enclaves close to pluton-wall rock contacts; (6) evidence of brittle-emplacement mechanisms in the western border of the pluton, which contrast with features indicating mainly ductile mechanisms toward the east; and, (7) markedly discordant paleomagnetic directions that suggest emplacement in an active tectonic setting. The overall mean for 9 accepted paleomagnetic sites is Dec = 34.6°, I = 25.7° (k = 88.3, α95 = 5.5°), and is deviated ∼ 35° with respect to the reference cratonic direction. This magnetization is interpreted to indicate a combination of tilt due to initial drag during vertical diapiric ascent (or westward lateral-oblique expansion) of the adjacent San Pedro Mártir pluton and later rotation (∼ 15°) by Rosarito Fault activity in the southwest; this rotation may have occurred as eastward contraction acted to fill the space emptied by the ascending San Pedro Mártir pluton. The Rosarito fault may have tilted several plutons in the area (Sierra San Pedro Mártir, El Potrero, San José, and Encinosa). Magnetic susceptibility fabrics for 13 sites reflect mostly emplacement-related stress and regional stress. Paleomagnetic data and structural observations lead us to interpret the El Potrero pluton as a syntectonic pluton, emplaced within a regional shear zone delimited by the Main Mártir Thrust and the younger Rosarito Fault.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1-17
    Number of pages17
    JournalTectonophysics
    Volume424
    Issue number1-2
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 19 Sep 2006

    Keywords

    • Baja California
    • Batholith
    • Emplacement mechanisms
    • Magnetic fabric
    • Paleomagnetism
    • Peninsular Ranges

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    Chávez Cabello, G., Molina Garza, R., Delgado Argote, L., Contreras Flores, R., Ramírez, E., Ortega Rivera, A., ... Lee, J. (2006). Geology and paleomagnetism of El Potrero pluton, Baja California: Understanding criteria for timing of deformation and evidence of pluton tilt during batholith growth. Tectonophysics, 424(1-2), 1-17. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tecto.2006.03.018