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Journal of South American Earth Sciences. Vol. 6, No. 3, pp. 123-132. 1992 0895-9811/92 $5.00+.

Printed in Great Britain © 1993PergamonPress Ltd
& Earth Sciences& ResourcesInstitute

Regional S-type granites in the Ecuadorian Andes: Possible remnants

of the breakup of western Gondwana
1Misi6n Brit,'tnica(ODA/BGS).FCO (QUITO).King Charles Street,London,SW1A 2AH. England,UK; 2British
Geological Survey.Keyworth.Nottingham,NG12 5GG. England.UK; 3CODIGEM.CasiUa 17-03-23. Quito,
Ecuador; 468 Gaim Terrace,Aberdeen.AB1 6AT.Scotland.UK
(Received July 1992; Revision Accepted December 1992)

A b s t r a c t - - R e c o n n a i s s a n c e geological mapping of the Ecuadorian Cordillera Real has established the presence of a previously
unrecognized regional suite of variably deformed granitoids for which poorly constrained Rb-Sr whole-rock data indicate a mini-
mum Early Jurassic age of 9.200 + 12 Ma (initial ratio = 0.7120). This suite, which is associated with low- to medium-grade, semi-
pelitic metamorphic rocks, is dominated by peraluminous monzogranites containing biotite + garnet + muscovite. Geochemically,
these granites are S-types and can be readily distinguished from juxtaposed 1-type granitoids of the Middle-Upper Juraasie
Zamora, Abitagna, and AzafrCm batholiths located immediately to the east. Intrusion of these S-type granites may be related to the
breakup of western Gondwana

R e s u m e n - - E 1 reconocimiento del mapeamiento geol6gico de ia Cordillera Real Ecuatoriana ha establecido la presencia de un

conjunto, previamente no identificado, de granitoides variablemente deformados para los cuales las dataciones de roea total de
Rb-Sr pobremente registrados indican una edad minima de Jur~ica Inferior de 200 + 12 Ma (Ri = 0.7120). E1 conjunto, asociado
con diversas rocas semi-pellticas de bajo a mediano grado de metamorfismo, es dominado pot monzogranitos peraluminieos con
biotita + granate + muscovita. G-eoquimicamente, estos granitos son de "tipo S" y pueden set f~eilmente distinguido~ de los grani-
toides yuxtapuestos "tipo I" de los batolitos Zamora, Abitgua y Azafr~in de edad Jur~ica Medio-Superior encontrados inmediata-
mente hacia el este. Se considera la posibilidad de que los granitos "tipo S" puedan ser relacionados a la ruptura de Gondwana

INTRODUCTION heterogeneous unit that is dominated by biotite :!: garnet +

muscovite-bearing orthogneisses and migmatites.
THE CORDILLERA REAL represents the easternmost of Although isolated occurrences of these rocks had been
two cordilleras that make up the Ecuadorian sector of the noted previously (Kennerley et al., 1973; Harrington,
Northern Andes. Throughout its 650-kin length, the Cor- 1957; Colony and Sinclair, 1932), their true regional
dillera Real is crossed by only five roads. Limited access, extent and significance had not been appreciated (e.g.,
high altitude (the main watershed lies between 5800 and Baldock, 1982). This preliminary contribution gives a
3200 m), and heavy rainfall combine to discourage field- brief description of the field and petrographic characteris-
work, so that the geology of the area has remained poorly tics of these rocks and presents new geochronlogical and
known until recently. whole-rock geochemical data. Together, these data indi-
In 1986, a bilateral Ecuadorian-British Technical Coop- cate that the Loja division granitoids show many features
erafiou Program was initiated to carry out a regional inves- of S-type granites (Chappell and White, 1974) and are
tigation into the nature and economic mineral potential of quite distinct from "normal" Andean (cordilleran) I-type
the metamorphic rocks that comprise the bulk of the Cor- granitoids (Cobbing, 1990; Pitcher, 1983), as exemplified
dillera Real. Based on about 10 man-years of field- by the Zamora, Abitagua, and Azafr(m batholiths in Ecua-
oriented studies, supported by geochronological (Aspden dor (Fig. 1).
et al., 1992) and geochemical studies (Litherland et al.,
1990), the pre-Cretaceous rocks of the Cordillera have
been divided into a series of informal, regional, lithotec- GEOLOGY AND PETROGRAPHY OF LOJA
tonic divisions (Aspden and Litherland, 1992). DIVISION GRANITOIDS
Lithologically, the Loja division consists principally of
a variably metamorphosed pelitic-psammitic sequence Ires Lagunas Granites
(the Agoy~n and Chiquinda subdivisions) and metagrani-
toids (Fig. 1). In the west am the foliated biotite + garnet + Outside of shear zones, the Tres Lagunas granites are
muscovite granites of the Tres Lagunas subdivision; in the petrographically distinctive, normally consisting of
southeast is the elongate Sabanilla subdivision, a more medium- to coarse-grained granites with prominent.

Address all correspondenceand reprintrequests to the British GeologicalSurvey,Keyworth,UK:

telephone [44] (602) 363100; fax [44] (602) 363200; telex378173 BGSKEYG.
SAES--6/3-B 123



iI 0
o'o~-- 0

)o' s 3:0ffS

o /

o 0
JC ~
// 0
) Saroguro zg

. ~--,~


o$ Chiguindo/Agoyon

~orphic m rss Lagunos

sub division
~ Sobonilla

~ M r metamorphic
D divisions

Fig. 1. Pre-Cretaeeous geology of the Cordillera Real (after I0

Lithedand el al., 1990): A) north of 2"S, showing disl~ibutionof "I s Q,
the Loja division and the Azafr~ln,Abitagua, and Rosa Florida 11eOO'W
batholiths; B) south of 2"S, showing distribution of the Loja
division and the Zamora batholith.

smoky-blue to grey alkali feldspar megacrysts, up to 14 blue-grey alkali feldspar are relatively commodtl on e,arlier-
cm in length. Many samples contain pale blue quartz crys- formed, often euhedral plagioclase, but "rapakivi" over-
tals of uncertain origin. The major me.tic mineral, biotite, growths also occur. The alkali feldspar megacrysts contain
is typically reddish-brown in thin section and up to 1 cm in inclusions of cream-colored plagioclase and/or biotite +
diameter; it may constitute up to 10% of the mode. Horn- quartz.
blende has not been found in these rocks.
Garnet is a common accessory mineral, attaining 30%
The alkali feldspar is normally perthitic, and the plagio- of the mode in a belt of garnet granites between Papalla-
clase ranges from albite to oligoclase. Narrow rims of cata and Oyachachi (Fig. 1A). Cordierite has been
Regional S-type granites in the Ecuadorian Andes: Possible remnants of the breakup of western Gondwana 125

recorded but is rare. Muscovite is fairly common but is Age of Loja Division Granites
mostly subordinate to biotite, which it generally replaces.
Secondary granoblastic quartz fabrics are widespread and The age of the Loja division granites is not precisely
are accompanied by partial replacement of feldspar and known, but blue quartz clasts, presumed to be derived
mica by quartz. Other late features include the formation form the Tres Lagunas granites, occur in fossiliferous
of epidote, the sericite-zoisite alteration of feldspars, the Lower Jurassic meta-sedimentary rocks exposed south of
recrystaUization and/or chloritization of biotite, and the Bafios (Howarth and Ivimey-Cook, 1991) (Fig. 1A).
growth of brown tourmaline. Minor amounts of opaque Attempts to date both the Tres Lagunas and SabaniUa sub-
minerals are also present, but their compositions have not divisions, using K-Ar (biotite, muscovite), Sm-Nd (garnet/
been determined directly. However, outcrops show consis- whole-rock), and Rb-Sr (whole-rock) methods, have been
tently low magnetic susceptibility readings, suggesting the generally unsuccessful. At present, the most reliable data
absence of magnetite. come from the Tres Lagunas subdivision, where the com-
bined Rb-Sr whole-rock data (17 points) give an isochron
Relatively underformed granites can often be traced age of 200 + 12 Ma (MSWD = 169, Ri = 0.7120; Fig. 2).
into gneissic belts related to vertical or steep, westward- Despite the high degree of scatter, this is considered to be
dipping, Andean-trending shear zones in which S-C mylo- the minimum age for emplacement (Aspden et al., 1992).
nites (Berth6 et al., 1979; Lister and Snoke, 1984) are
widely developed. In places, the mylonites are cut by
younger, undefformed pegmatite veins of quartz +_.tourma- ANALYTICAL DATA
line + feldspar + muscovite.
Xenoliths are relatively uncommon but include both The material used in this study was collected using a
meta-sedimentary and meta-igneous material. Large xeno- hand-held rock drill and dynamite. In the case of the "Ires
crysts of white vein quartz (up to 5 cm) are common in the Lagunas granites, only the more massive (i.e., least foli-
Malacatus area, and synplutonic amphibolites are present ated) outcrops were sampled. In all, 24 whole-rock analy-
east of Bafios (Fig. 1). ses representing each of the Loja division granites (LDG)
and the Zamora, Abitagua, and Azafr~in batholiths
Contacts of the Tres Lagunas subdivision are tectonic. (ZAAG) are currently available (Aspden et al., 1990). The
North of latitude 2°S, the country rocks (Agoyan subdivi- Tres Lagtmas samples were collected from areas south of
sion, Fig. 1A) are typically medium-grade, aluminous Sigsig, east of Saraguro, and north of Malacatus; the
schists and paragneisses, with rare incipient migmatiza- Sabanilla subdivision was sampled north of Valladolid and
tion, whereas in the south they normally comprise low- east of Sabanilla (Fig. 1B). Representative analyses from
grade, semi-pelitic phyllites and quartzites (Chiguinda the LDG and ZAAG suites are listed in Table 1.
subdivision, Fig. 1B). The Zamora, Abitagua, and Azafran batholiths, analyti-
cal data for which are included here for comparative pur-
poses, form the southern part of a belt of predominantly
SabaniUa Orthogneisses Middle to Upper Jurassic batholiths that can be traced
throughout the Northern Andes (Aspden et al., 1991,
1990, 1987; McCourt et al., 1984). They are typical of
Fewer petrographic details are available for the Andean I-type granitoids, having a wide range in SiO2 and
Sabanilla subdivision orthogneisses, which consist essen- high NazO values, and are commonly hornblende bearing.
tially of medium-grained, foliated biotite + muscovite +
garnet granites. In contrast to Tres Lagunas, these granites
do not contain blue quartz, nor are they commonly mega- I I I i I i ¢

crystic. They are also more homogeneously foliate& so 87 S t / e 6 Sr

O. 735
they may have been deformed at somewhat higher tem-
peratures and possibly deeper levels (Gapais, 1989) - - an ..V. ~-
+..#÷ ....."4:........
inference supported by the more common occurrence of
migmatites and the occasional presence of kyanite- and . .oo~1~ o"

sillimanite-bearing assemblages in associated para- ..4#,.~4g""

gneisses. Even away from the more obviously migmatitic • ,..""
0.745 ,.°.,.'""
parts, the Sabanilla orthogneisses are texturally hetero- i
geneous and often contain meta-sedimentary xenoliths in AGE 200 ~ 12 Mo 12s)
various stages of digestion. Biotite schlieren and clots are Zntercept 0 . 7 t 2 0 ! 0 . 0 0 0 7
0.70 5 MSWl) q69.t Enhonced Errors
extremely common. In some outcrops, randomly oriented
blocks of orthogneiss, apparently similar in composition to 87Rb/MSr
I I I I I I i
the host, have been noted. As with the Tres Lagunas subdi- q 3 5 7
vision, relatively small mafic bodies, of amphibolite, are
present in some areas (e.g., north and east of Valladolid, Fig. 2. Rb-Sr whole-rockisochrondiagramfor the Tres Lagunas
Fig. 1B). subdivision (Aspdenet al., 1992).

N ~

= ~ = ~ * ~ = ~

.1~ tm

8 ~A

. . . ~ . . . ~ .


Regional S-type granites in the Ecuadofian Andes: Possible remnants o f the breakup of western Gondwana 127

Initial 87Sr/86Sr ratios for the Abitagua and Zamora

batholiths range from 0.7037 to 0.7056 (Aspden et al.,
1992) and are similar to values of 0.7034-0.7048 obtained Q
by Brook (1984) from the Ibague batholith in Colombia.
These data suggest derivation from a fairly primitive iso-
topic source. Consequently, the entire belt is interpreted to
represent the principal magmatic products of Jurassic sub-
duction along the paleocontinental margin of northwestern
South America (Aspdou et al., 1987).


Based on calculated CIPW normative values, the

majority of the LDG plot in the quartz-rich (normative
quartz > 38%) part of the monzogranite field in the QAP
ternary diagram. In contrast, the ZAAG show a greater
compositional range, including not only monzogranites
but also granodiorites and more basic dioritic variants Or PI
(Fig. 3).
Furthermore, variation diagrams reveal clear differ- Fig. 3. QAP ternarydiagram (after Streckeiscn,1976) based on
ences between the LDG and ZAAG suites. When plotted CIPW normativevalues (Q = quartz, Or = orthoclase,H = anor-
against SiO2, the LDG suite stands out as enriched in vari- thite + albite). Open circles, Loja division granites (LDG;
ous elements, including TiO2, PxOs, Cr, and Zn (Fig. 4). Sabanilla, Malacatus, Peggy, Saraguro, and Valladolid
Some elements that have concentrations close to their areas); closed circles,ZAAGgranitoids (Zamora,Abitagua,and
ZAAG counterparts of comparable SiO2 content show a AzafrGmbatholiths). Key to numbers: 1, quartz-rich granitoids;
quite different variation trend. Thus, whereas Th, Ce, Y, 2, monzogranite;3, granodiorite;4, quartz-monzonite;5, quartz-
and Nb generally rise with increasing SiO2 in the I-type rnonzogranite/gabbro; 6, quartz-diorite/gabbro; 7, monzodio-
dte/gabbro; 8, diorite/gabbro.
ZAAG suite, they appear to fall with increasing SiO2 in
the S-type LDG suite (Fig. 5). Based on this, we conclude
that the LDG are indeed a separate group and could not
' ' ' ' I ' ' ' ' ' ' ' ' I ' ' ' ' I r~r' ' I ' ' ' 'l
have formed by fractionation of ZAAG-type magmas. e~ 0.8
This contrasts with the interpretation of the more evolved 0
parts of the Cordillera Blanca batholith in Peru. which
exhibit many S-type features, as having been derived from .... ~ ........ t .... ~ .... '~,~,i,
' ' ' ' I ' '•' ' ' ' ' ' I ' ' ' ' I ' ' ' ' I ' ' ' '
an I-type parent (Atherton and Sanderson, 1987). u3 •
o 0.2
Differences between the LDG and ZAAG suites can oq ,
also be seen on a number of other plots. In both the 1(20 vs 0_ 0.1
.... t ........ i .... 1 , , 7 , ~ = m ' = , o,
Na20 and the/M/(Na+K+Ca/2) vs SiO2 diagrams (Figs.6 ,' ' ' ' t ........ r . . . . 0 ~0 ' '~1' I . . . .
and 7), the peraluminous (A/NKC > 1.1) LDG suite and 80
the metal-ruinous (A/NKC < 1.1) ZAAG suite fall within O
40 .
the S- and I-type fields, respectively, with little or no over- I a~, • ~o~::, ,:lo ~
lap between the groups. Equally. on the ACT plot (Fig. 8) ' ' ' ' 1 . . . . II ~ . . . .

the S-type LDG straddle the plagioclase-biotite tie line ¢..

and extend into the/M-rich part of the diagram, whereas N 80 • o
the I-type ZAAG straddle the plagioclase-homblende tie
line, with some points lying on the CaO-rich side.
O0 • •
The Chappell and White (1974) classification of gra- 55 60 65 70 75
nites into S- and I-types is broadly similar to the ilmeuite- Si02
and magnetite-series of l.~hihara (1977) in that all S-types L D G Suite ZAAG Suite
belong to the ilmenite-series and the majority (but not all) o Sabanilla • Zamora
of the I-types correspond to the magnetite-series (Beckin- <~ M a l a c a t o s • Abitogua
sale, 1979). Magnetite- and ilmenite.series granites can be •~ P e g g y • Azafran
distinguished using an Fe203/FeO vs SiO2 plot (Lekmana v Soroguro
and Harmanto, 1990) - - a diagram that also clearly sepa- [] Vollodolid
rates the LDG and the ZAAG suites and classifies them as
belonging to the ilmenite- and magnetite-series, respec-
tively (Fig. 9). Fig. 4. HarkerdiagramsshowingTiO2,P205, Cr, and Zn vs SiO2
The above data illustrate that the LDG and ZAAG for LDG and ZAAGgranitoids.
suites represent two distinct groups of granites and that the

, , ~r 1 i i i 1
t- 20 5

........ i jr I&
8O & • o
v' 3
o 4O • • 5~TBw,_ le © •

, ', ', ', ~ ', ~ ', ', I . . . .

I '-~
' I~ I I I
>- 3O 1
tilt 0 •
,I,,,, lk I
16 .... I ........ I .... I .... I&~' ' '4 2 3 4 5
.a 12
z 8 • •All Fig. 6. K20 v s Na20 diagram for the LDG and ZAAG grani-
r toids. I-type and S-type granite fields after Chappell and White
55 60 65 70 75 (1974). Symbols as in Fig. 5.

2.0 [] 4
\N 1.8
O 1.6 S - - t y p e []
Fig. 5. Harker diagrams showing T h Ce, Y, and Nb v s SiO2 for + 1.,4.
LDG and ZAAG granitoids. Z
,~, 1.2
~: 1.o
, , , , , , i i I , , , , I , , , i I , , i i I L , ,

55 60 65 70 75

Fig. 7. Aluminosity index vs SiO2 for the LDG and ZAAG grani-
toids. I-type and S-type granite fields after Chappell and White
(1974). Symbols as in Fig. 5.

~ / ~ M I b l I I ( ~ o v l fg 2 1 1 . . . . I T I . . . . I . . . .


Pla'l°ola'" ~ f ~ It. o A~
b. 1.00 • e. A

0.20 L °@
f -\

, , , . : • , J , I , , , i I , i L i I
i i i i I , i ,

55 60 65 70 75

Fig. 9. Fe,203/FeO v s SiO2 plot for the LDG and ZAAG grani-
toids. Fields of magnetite- (m) and ilmenite- (i) series granites
Fig. 8. ACF ternary diagram for the LDG and ZAAG granitoids.
after Ishihara e t al. (1979) and Lehman and Harmanto (1990).
Symbols as in Fig. 5. Symbols as in Fig. 5.
Regional S-type gr: ites in the Ecuadorian Andes: Possible remnants of the breakup of western Gondwana 129

LDG have many of the geochemical characteristics of S-

type granites (see Pitcher, 1987, 1983; I-line et al., 1978; A
Chappell and White, 1974). LDG samples collected f~om 200 V
different areas appear to form closely clustered composi-
tional subgroups on a number of plots. These subgroups
are apparent in diagrams having Cr, Ni, and SiO2 as dis- 15o
criminants (Figs.4 and 10) and, although data are limited, .a
n, • oo D
they suggest a lack of regional nniformity within the LDG loo o
suite. Each subgroup appears to be geochemically distinct,
and we further suggest that the consistency of "mobile"
elements, such as Rb (Fig. 11), argues that, overall, the 50
compositions of the LDG have not undergone major Q
chemical modification either by late-stage alteration or
during regional shearing (mylonitization). 40 80
Although detailed petrogenetic modeling is beyond the
scope of this paper, Whilte and Chappell (1977) suggested I IIII I I I tlllll I I I IIIII I I I I IIIII

that variation trends in granites of crustal origin may arise

by mixing of different melt and restite proportions. In the
case of the LDG suite, this model may, for example, 3o A
account for the trends of decreasing Y, Nb, Ce, and Th
observed in Fig. 5. These elements could be envisaged as
remaining concentrated in restite phases such as iimenite, ~.z: 20
garnet, and monazite and falling to very low concentra-
tions in the separated eutectic melt (with ca. SiO2 = 76%).
However, other elements, including Ti, P, Cr, and Zn, dif- lo
fer in that their decreasing trends can be extrapolated to • voo
reach zero at SiO2 > 80% (Fig. 4), with significant concen-
trations remaining at 76% SiO2. This suggests that part of ilnll I I I IIIIl[ ~ I I I i illll i i i i iii

these elements may have entered the melt, presumably by 1 10 100

melting of mafic silicates and apatite, while a proportion
was retained in the more refractory phases.
Fig. 10. Rb vs Cr (A) and Th vs Ni (B) diagrams for the LDG
and ZAAGgranitoids. Symbolsas in Fig. 5.

Geochemically, the LDG suite can be classified as S- Cobbing, 1990; Rapela et al., 1989; Atherton and Sander-
type granites, and their relatively high 875r/g6Sr ratios son, 1987).
(Fig. 2) also suggest involvement of a substantial crustal Pitcher (1987, 1983) suggested that different types of
component in their origin. This value (0.7120) is consider- granites could be related to different tectonic environ-
ably greater than the entire range of Ri values obminad for meats. Specifically, he considered the development of
the ZAAG granitoids and is similar to that of crustally regional S-type granites as characteristic of zones of coati-
contaminated modern andesties in Colombia (James, nental collison and also encratonic ductile shear belts.
1984). More recently, Cobbing (1990), although agreeing that S-
Although regional S-type granites have not previously type granites with crustal signatures are associated with
been reported from the Northern Andes, "S-like" granites. coUisional settings, has emphasized the diversity of crustal
principally of Permo-Triassic age, are present in both the granites and pointed out that similar granites can be deve-
Central and Southern Andes, where they are generally loped in a variety of tectonic settings. In his view, the
considered to have been emplaced in extensional settings, composition of the crustal source region is of prime
possibly related to crustal relaxation preceding the importance in determining granite type and, ultimately, the
breakup of Goudwana (Avila-Salinas, 1990; Su/trez et al., relative amounts of mantle-derived and crustal materials
1990; Rapela et al., 1989; Kentak et al., 1985). The possi- that are mobilized during magma genesis.
bility therefore exists that the ~ could represent equiv- Pearce et al. (1984; see also Brown et al., 1984) pro-
alents of the "S-like" granites in Peru, Bolivia, and posed that the tectonic setting of most granites could be
northern Chile. In marked contrast to these occurrences, determined according to the abundance of certain trace
however, the LDG suite is regionally developed and typi- elements. Using a Rb vs Nb+Y plot, Pearce et al. (1984)
caUy has a strong mylonitic fabric. Equally, these granites distinguished between granites generated in volcanic-arc
do not appear to be genetically related to I-types (i.e., the (VAG), syncollisional (Syn-COLG), and within-plate
ZAAG suite) nor, as far as we can tell, do they occur in (WIG) settings. On their plot, all the Ecuadorian samples
batholiths of mixed S-I character (cf. Avila-Salinas, 1990; would be classified as volcanic-arc granites. However, it

I 1 I I I II I I I I I I I II I I l I I I II I
may be siLmificantthat the Ecuadorian S-types plot in the
1000 upper part of the VAG field, close to where these granites
Syn--COLG converge with WIG and Syn-COLG (Fig. 11). Compared
300 with other S-types. the LDG suite is relatively poor in Rb
and, although not proven, we assume that this is more
100 likely to reflect the composition of the source area rather
than being diagnostic of a particular tectonic setting (see
30 also Cobbing. 1990; Chappell and Stephens. 1988).
Indeed. the more "primitive" nature of the LDG suite with
10 VAQ ORG respect to Southeast Asian S-type granites can be seen in
Fig. 12. On this diagram, most Ecuadofian samples plot in
the I-type field (i.e., below the Malaysian reference line)
I 1 I I I III I I I I III I I I I I I III but. as Cobbing (1990) pointed out (see also Pitfield.
10 100 1000 1988). the Malaysian reference line is empirical and may
Y+Nb not serve to distinguish I- and S-type granites from else-
where in the world. Nevertheless, although the LDG do
Fig. 11. Rb vs Y+Nb discriminant plot (Pearce et al., not achieve Rb/Sr ratios > 1.0 at DI values < ca. 85 (as is
1984): VAG,volcanic-arcgranites; WPG, within-plategranites;
the case in Southeast Asian S-types). they do have consis-
Syn-COLG, syn-collisionalgranites; ORG, ocean-ridgegranites;
open circles, LDG; closed circles, ZAAG. tently higher Rb/Sr ratios at the same DI than those of the
In a review of the early Mesozoic history of the North-
em and Central Andes. Jaillard et al. (1990) suggested that
the Late Triassic-Liassic separation of North and South
10.00 America. between the paleo-Mexican margin and what is
now part of the Northern Andes, included rift-related
M.~..."_.'.,_z...-.z2-__m / ~o extension and possible transcurrent (?transpressional)
\ 1.00 stress. This model accounts for the early Mesozoic "exten-
It:: ,, ~ sional" regime preserved in the geological record of
Ecuador ion" Ref o;'ence Line
ee •
Colombia and Ecuador and, in our view, may also explain
0.10 the presence of a regional belt of variably deformed S-type
granites and migmatites. We assume that the highly
• I oblique approach of the paleo-Pacific plate resulted in a
I i i i I i i i i I i i , ,
significant amount of transpressional strike-slip (Fig. 13)
4-0 60 80
and possibly limited subduction along the northwestern
Diff. Index
margin of South America. D'Lemos et al. (1992; see also
Fig. 12. Rb/Sr vs DI (Thorton and Tuttle differentiationindex) Hutton, 1988; Wickham and Oxburgh. 1986; Pitcher,
diseriminantplot, I- and S-typegranite fields after Pitfield(1988) 1983) have recently proposed that crustal-scale transpres-
and Cobbing (1990). Open circles, LDG; closed circles.ZAAG. sional shear zones provide settings favorable for genera-
ting and emplacing S-type (anatectic) granites. In Ecuador,
S-C mylonites (Lister and Snoke, 1984) are widely deve-
loped throughout the Cordillera Real. and it has been sug-
gested that repeated episodes of dextral transpression
affected the Cordillera during Mesozoic time (Aspden and
Litherland, 1992).
The western (tectonic) limit of the Loja division coin-
cides with the Las Aradas-Baltos fault (Fig. 1), a line of
intense shearing and regional mylonite development.
which we suggest represents the remnants of the zone of
separation between the paleo-Mexican margin and north-
western South America. Farther to the north in Colombia,
we would correlate the Las Aradas-Battos fault with the
Romeral fault zone (Fig. 13). If such a correlation is valid,
then one would predict that, as geological exploration of

Hg. 13. Sketchof the proposed Late Tfiassic-Liassic(dextral)

transpressional regime affecting the margin of northwestern
South America (modifiedfrom Jaillard et al., 1990), illustrating
the possible tectonicsetting of Loja divisiongranitoids.
Regional S-type granites in the Ecuadorian Andes: Possible remnants of the breakup of western Gondwana 131

the Colombian Central Cordillera continues, granites Botero, G., 1975. Edades radiom6tricas de algunos plutones Colombi-
equivalent to those of the Loja division will be recognized. anos. Minera (Medellin), 8336-8342.
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Caldas in the central part of the Cordillera, immediately to
Brown, G. C., Thorpe, R. S., and Webb, P. C., 1984. The geochemical
the east of the Romeral fault zone (e.g., Puqui, E1 Buey. characteristics of granitoids in contrasting arcs and comments on
and Amago stocks). These plutons typically have faulted magma sources. Journal of the Geological Society of London 141,
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poorly dated, they are considered to be Triassic in age Chappell, B. W., and Stephens, W. E., Origin of infracrustal (I-type_
(Jaillard et al., 1990; Aspden et al., 1987; Macia and granite magmas. Transactions of the Royal Society of Endiburgh:
Mojica. 1981). According to Hall et al. (1982). the Puqui Earth Sciences 79, 71-86.
stock, which has K-At muscovite and biotite ages ranging Chappell, B. W., and White, A. J. R., 1974. Two contrasting granite
types. Pacific Geology 8, 173-174.
from 239 _+.7 to 211 + ? Ma (see also Botero, 1975). has
"gradational" and, in part, migmatitic contacts with the Cobbing, R. J., 1990. A comparison of granites and their tectonic settings
from the South American Andes and the Southeast Asian tin belt. In:
surrounding micaceous, gneissose, host rock and is inter- Plutonismfrom Antarctica to Alaska (edited by S. M. Kay and C. W.
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Acknowledgments--This paper is published with permission of the Colony, R. J., and Sinclair, J. H., 1932. Metamorphic and igneous rocks
Director of the British Geological Survey (NERC) and the Instituto Ecu- of eastern Ecuador. Annals of the New York Academy of Science 34,
atoriano de Mineria (INEMIN). Work in Ecuador and in the UK was car- 1-54.
ried out as part of an ongoing bilateral technical cooperation project
D'l.emos, R. S., Brown, M., and Strachan, R. A., 1992. Granite magma
between the governments o f Ecuador and the UK (via the Overseas
generation, ascent and emplacement within a transpressional orogen.
Development Administration). Special thanks are due Srs. Casanova and
Journal of the Geological Socie~. of London 149, 487-490.
C611eri of INEMIN. We are grateful, to R. J. Cobbing and R. J. Pankhurst
for their comments on an early draft of this paper, and to Profs. Duque Gapais, D., 1989. Shear structures within deformed granites: Mechanical
and Equez for helpful suggestions. and thermal indicators. Geology 17, 1144-1147.
Hall, R., Alvarez, J., and Rico, H., 1972. Geologfa de los Departamentos
de Antioquia y Caldas Sub-Zona ii-A. Boletln Geologla (BogotA) 20.
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