A New Sample Transect through the Sierra Madre Occidental Silicic Large Igneous Province in Southern Chihuahua State, Mexico: First Stratigraphic, Petrologic, and Geochemical Results
Wednesday, 17 December 2014
We completed a field sampling transect across the northern Sierra Madre Occidental silicic large igneous province (SMO) in December 2013. Here we present the first stratigraphic, petrological, and geochemical data from the transect between Hidalgo del Parral and Guadalupe y Calvo, Chihuahua, Mexico. This is the first new transect across the SMO in 25 years and the only one between existing NE - SW transects at Chihuahua - Hermosillo and Durango - Mazatlan. The 245 km-long transect along Mexican Highway 24 crosses the boundary between the extended (Basin and Range) and non-extended (Sierra Madre Occidental plateau) parts of the SMO, and allows sampling of previously undescribed Oligocene (?) - early Miocene (?) rhyolitic ignimbrites and lavas, and occasional post-rhyolite, Miocene (?) SCORBA basaltic andesite lavas. 54 samples of rhyolitic ignimbrites (40) and lavas (7), and basaltic andesite lavas (7) were sampled along the transect, including 8 canyon sections with more than one unit. The ignimbrites are overwhelming rhyodacitic (plagioclase and hornblende or biotite phyric) or rhyolitic (quartz (+/- sanidine) in additon to plagioclase and hornblende or biotite phyric) and sparsely to highly phyric. Preliminary petrographic (phenocryst abundances) and geochemical (major and trace element) will be presented and compared to existing data from elsewhere in the SMO. Future work will include U-Pb zircon dating and whole rock and in-zircon radiogenic isotopes analyses.