Granites of the intracontinental termination of a magmatic arc: an example from the Ediacaran Araçuaí orogen, southeastern Brazil.


The Araçuaí orogen of southeastern Brazil together with the West Congo belt of central West Africa form the Araçuaí–West Congo orogen generated during closure of a terminal segment of the Neoproterozoic Adamastor Ocean. Corresponding to an embayment in the São Francisco–Congo Craton, this portion of the Adamastor was only partially floored by oceanic crust. The convergence of its margins led to the development of the Rio Doce magmatic arc between 630 Ma and 580 Ma. The Rio Doce magmatic arc terminates in the northern portion of the Araçuaí orogen. Granitic plutons exposed in the northern extremity of the arc provide a rare opportunity to study magmatism at arc terminations, and to understand the interplay between calc-alkaline magma production and crustal recycling. The plutons forming the terminus of the arc consist of granodiorites, tonalites and monzogranites similar to a magnesian, slightly peraluminous, calcic- (68%) to calc-alkaline (24%), with minor alkali-calcic (8%) facies, medium- to high-K magmatic series. Although marked by negative Nb–Ta, Sr and Ti anomalies, typically associated with subduction-related magmas, the combined Sr, Nd and Hf isotopic data characterize a crustal signature related to anatexis of metamorphosed igneous and sedimentary rocks, rather than fractional crystallization of mantle-derived magmas. Zircon U–Pb ages characterizes two groups of granitoids. The older group, crystallized between 630 and 590 Ma, experienced a migmatization event at ca. 585 Ma. The younger granitoids, emplaced between 570 and 590 Ma, do not show any evidence for migmatization. Most of the investigated samples show good correlation with the experimental compositional field of amphibolite dehydration-melting, with some samples plotting into the field of greywacke dehydration-melting. The studied rocks are not typical I-type or S-type granites, being particularly similar to transitional I/S-type granitoids described in the Ordovician Famatinian arc (NW Argentina). We suggest a hybrid model involving dehydration-melting of meta-igneous (amphibolites) and metasedimentary (greywackes) rocks for magma production in the northern termination of the Rio Doce arc. The real contribution of each end-member is, however, a challenging work still to be done.