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Tectono~stratigraphic terranes and mineral resource distributions in Mexico 1

Petroleas Mexicanos. Mexico. D.F.
Department ofGeosciences, Univcrsity of Arizona, Tucson, AZ 8572/, U.S.A.
Received March 11, ) 982

Accepted May ID, 1982

About 80% ofthe southem part of the North American Cordillera within the Republic of Mexico is made up of suspect terraDes.
These terranes are suspeCI because Iheir paleogeographie setting with respect to cratonic North America at various times through
much of Phanerozoic time is uncertain, Much of northeastern and southeastem Mexico is underlain by basement accreted during
late Paleozoic time, an extension of the Appalachian-Ouachita orogeny. This orogen has been eonsiderably modified by Jurassk
strike-slip translations related to the opening of the Gulf of Mexico. Western and southwestern Mexieo is largely made up o(
several distinet but coeval latest Jurassie to Late Cretaceous suhmarine magmatie are terranes with unknown basement Iha!
appear to have aeereted against the disrupted North American margin by earJy Tertiary time. Only northeastern Sonora and the
State of Chihuahua appear to be floored by un moved North American cratonie basement. The combined effect of Mesozoíc
aceretIOns and translatíons essentially eliminates the overIap of Soulh America upon Mexico ¡hat is drived frumlate Paleozoic
early Mesozoie reconstructions of the closed Atlantic Deean. This new vision of aeeretionary and translational leclonics in
Mexiea has profound implicatiol.s for the study of teetogenesis in the soulhem Cordillera as well as for Ihe interpretatíon 1)(
Mexieo' s vasl natural resourees. l'reliminary analy~is indicates thal Mexico's gold-sílver and lead-zinc deposils are directly O!
indirectly related 10 Ihe terrane distribulions discussed.

Environ 80% de la partie sud de la Cordillere de l'Amérique du Nord a I'intérieurde la République du Mexique est forméede
terraíns mal définis. Ces terrains sont mal défillis paree que leur contexte paléogéographíque en rapport avec le eraton de
"Amérique du Nord pour les différents temps géologiques surtout pour le Phanérozoique est indéterminé. De grandes régíonsdu
nord-est et du sud-est du Mexique reposent sur un socle résultant d'une aeerétion au cours du Paléozo'ique supérieur, une
extension de l'orogénese Appalache-Ouachita. Cette orogénese fut eonsidérablement affectée par des translations le long de
décroehements au Jurassique aecompagnant I'ouverture du golfe du Mcxique. L'ouest e¡ sud-ouest du Mexique es!
principalement eonstitué de terrains de nalure différente mais eontemporains de la fin du Jurassique supérieur jusqu'au Crétacé
supérieur, formanl des ares d'origine magmatique sous-marine, dont le sacie esl inconnu mais semble résulter d'une aecrétion FIG. l. Tectono-stratigr.
eontre la marge rupturée de l' Amérique du Nord durant le Tertiaire inférieur. Seulement le nord-est de Sonora el I'État du Cerranes shown by V palie
Chihuahua semblent présenler un socle com::spondanl au eralon non-déplaeé de l' Amérique du Nord. L 'effet l'ombiné des
accrétions et des Iranslations du Mésozolque écartent I'hypothese d'un chevauehement de l' Amérique du Sud sur le Mexique resource disrributions jn
invoquée dans les reconstitutions de la fermeture de I'océan Atlantique durant la période du Paléozolque supérieur jusqu'au controUed by rhe tcrr
Mésozoique inférieur. Cette nouvelle approehe de teetonique d'accrélions et de translations pour le Mexique peul eontribuer au relationship that has not
développemenl de la teetogénese du sud de la Cordillere et également al'interprétation eoncernant les vas tes ressources naturellcs The tectonícs af Mexi
du Mexique. Des études préliminaires indiquenl que les gileS d'or-argent et de plomb-zine du Mexique sonI dircetemenl el not shared by most uf rh
indireetement reliés a la distribulion de terraíns discutés dans le préscnt aniele. Paleozoic Appalachian ,
Can. J, Earth SeL 10,1040-1051 (1983)
(Trdduil par le journa and Gulf of Mexico feal
!'lart~ American Cardo
Introduction Ben-Avraham et al. 1981). The approach has also unphcations of this com~
Tectono-stratigraphic lerrane-. ~nalysis (J ones and yielded preliminary insights into the distribution and mystery. and inelude the
Silberling 1979) has proven fruitful in sludies of the genesis of Cordilleran mineral resources (Albers 1981; No~ American Jale Pn
Nonh American Cordillera. It has resulted in a series of Berg 1981), contInental margin in this
new maps (Coney et al. 1980; Berg et al. 1978; Jones et Tectono-stratigraphic terrane analysis is in its infancy and ~esozoic interactiom ~
al. 1981) that have shed .much light on Cordilleran in Mexico. We report here the results of preliminary relatlOnships between the :
tectoníc evolution and has focused attention Ol~ major work now in progress (Campa and Coney 1981). We are - Ce~tral America regí.
issues in the interpretaríon of the tectonic evolution of cenain future work will require revision of what we Arnenca. Most of these F
continental rnargin mountain systems (Coney 1981; ponray here, but we are confident that the broad oUllíne from geometric reconstrU!
we propose is in general valid. These prelirninary results Ocean in Permo-Triassic t
lThis paper was presented at a symposium entitled provide a different vision of the tectonics of Mexico and kno.wn overJap of South
"Metallogeny and Tectonics of the North American al the same time provide insight into the teclonic Canbbean Sea and Central
Cordillera" held al Ihe GAC IMAC I CGU Joint Annual Meeting evolutíon of the southern part of the North American 50% o~ the Mexican R(~r
in Calgary, Alberta, May 13, 1981. Cordillera. Finally. we suggesl that sorne mineral coneluslOns; (1) rocks expo


M. G Guerrero J Jt. or (2) they le Mexique controlled by the terrane distributions.t fortnée de e craton de s régionsdu >érieur. Sorne ne mineral conclusions: (1) rocks exposed in the overlapped region terranes are designated as "eomposite.o by Jurassie SMO SI. une s le long de lexique es! -=­ 304) . J 980. The map shows the nary results Ocean in Perrno-Triassic time (Coney 1978). . Most of these problems derive at the oulset A preliminary teetono-stratigraphic terrane map of 'oad oUlline from geometrie reconstructions of the elosed Atlantic Mexico is shown as Fig."" l'au Crétacé FIG.. Tectono-stratigraphic ten'anes ofMexico. et l'État du ombiné des resouree distributions in Mexico appear to be markedly did not exist during Perrno-Triassic time.adre Occldenta. The well distribution of major basement terranes.et ten'anes.Caribbean Description oC terranes 81). l.teca XO Xolap. lbers 1981.". COA S Sonabar. The paleogeographic analysis they indicate. CAMPA AND CONEY 1041 LEGEND CHI Chihuahua CA C. for example. that only about 20% h has also implicadons of this complex union have a1ways been a of Mexieo can be unequivoeal1y underlain by unmoved butíon and mystery. which in most Mexícoand lcnown overIap of South Ameriea upon all of the cases are areas assumed to be underlain by a basement he tectoníc Caribbean Sea and Central Ameriea and including up to Iitho-tectonic assemblage defined as intemalIy homoge­ 1 American 50% of the Mex." and inelude .: O O••• ca MI Mi.rr. made up of TMV Tr.nt-Uexleo volcante Axla sement that lora and lhe f Mesozoíc Paleozoic ­ tectonics in pretation of : dircctly Of . A "lIalto.ur jusqu'au relatíonship that has not pr:eviously be en pereeived. Coney 1981) in its paleogeographic infancy I Íts and Mesozoic interactions. 'Ve are .early Paleozoie The remainder of the Republic is thus "suspe el" (Coney continental margin in this region as welllater Paleozoic et al. When these r le jouroal) and Gulf of Mexico features mingIe with those of the geometric relationships are combined with our terralle North American Cordillera. Superjacent (overlap) le accrétion terranes shown by V panero.I ar e::. North American late Precambrian . Added complexilies are the affinities during long periods of Phanerozoic time.borca COA Coahulla M May . and inelude the earHest configuration of the autochthonous North American Precambrian basement. tectonic eIements places severe doubts on classic 'ectement el Paleozoic Appalaehian and Mesozoic Atlantic Ocean interpretations of Mexican tectonic history.Central Ameriea region and northwestem South )f what we Ameriea. This is a were somewhere eIse. oreliminary relationships between the southem Mexieo . Madr. taken into consideration along with the nature of much Clntribuer au Tbe teetonics of Mexico has an inherent complexity of the geology of this region.ican Republic leads to one of two neous within the boundaries of the terrane. Basement ten'ane boundarics are shaded black Iines. When these geometric facts are .rr. SM 95. R Rual •• ncs through 'Cted during V Vlzc. l. the implied mobílíty of !s naturelles not shared by most of the Cordillera to the north: here.

J. P. considered to be very western zone. tectono-stratigraphic subdivisions: (1) a northwestern zone. Also found here ¡lre scattered continental deposits of the Barranca Formation and smaller terranes. Anderson et al. which is a direct eontinuation soulhward ioto Caborca terrane Mexico of autochthonous North American cratonic The stratigraphic column for the Caborca terrane is Precambrian basement and ils Paleozoic-Mesozoic based on isolated outcrops west of the cily of Cahorca. which though al. Anderson and Silver 1979) overlain by a very heterogeneous has a common origin as material accreted thíck míogeoclinal sequence of late Precambrian to North America during the latest Paleozolc through Pa1eozoic age (Cooper and Are 11 ano 1946.-. Antlerson and Tertiary trans-Mexico volcanic axis. San The Chihuahua terrane is underlaín by unmoved fragment of North American Precambrian basement and citations in text. . (2) an eastem zone. Jurassic Mojave-Sonora megashear (Sílver and Ander­ Mesozoic and Cenozc Petroleos MeXIcanos. l. which is characterized by a heterogeneous southwestern Nevada and soulhern California (Weber el assemblage of mainly submarine volcanic and al. We simply tenn it the Mojave-Sonora shown in Fig. 2) is made up of two terranes: the exposures of Lower Mesozoic rocks of uncertain affinity autochthonous North American cratonic terrane of in northeast Baja California (Gastil and Miller 1981).jor tectonic discontinuity separating disparate Precambrian­ c.. = Upper Ccetace( Chihuahua terrane suggestion that the Caborca terrane is a displaced Turon.. Overlying the sedimentary rocks of late Mesozoic age. EARTH sel. = Turonían. -Marathon orogenic belt (Bridgcs 1964).ec Appalachian-Ouachita-Marathon orogeny. see also son 1974.¡­ 1042 CAN. 4-3). Most of Mex. is certainly composite since southeast of Hcrrnosillo. Upper Triassi. The Precambrian basement is worked out..ico is in fact covered at the surfaee by The southeastem boundary of the terranc is an what are termed "superjacent" terranes or overlap assumed deep-seated fault along the northwestem assmblages. Sil terrane in the State of Sonora. l. _---._------~----------------. California and the marked contrast to sequences of Ihe Trias. unpubJ cratonic North American Precambrian basement. 1979... lithologies very similar to those of well known Boundaries between terranes are major diseontinuities sequences in Arizona and New Mexico of the in stratigraphy that we believe mark abrupt or cryptic southwestcrn United States (Peirce 1976). indicating paleogeographic unily over a Marathon ocogen.. the Caborca sequences to those of southwestem Nevada and southem Ord.ities the details of which are still to be Lopez 1979. 2. 1962. with presently Paleozoic rocks are Upper Triassic marine and unknown basement. 1979). 20. Only so me of thcsc are shown in Fig. surrounding Ihe Gulf of Sonora. The proposed intemal homogeneity of overlain depositionaIly by a cratonic assemblage ofup to terranes is represented by a stratigraphic record (in other 3000 m of Paleozoic sandstones. This ils Pa1eozoic miogeoclinal cover plus various Paleozoic basement outcrops in only scattered loealities in allochthons and younger overlap asscmblages.early Mesozoic slratigraphy. -. Teclo~o-str¡ Chihuahua and what may be a para-autochthonous The elose similarity of the pre-Lale Jurassic Abbreviations: Precam. Toward Ihe u. FIG. cover. part of the great post­ ~-- .:::::::==--­ . bUI it has been penetrated in wells broughl southeastward up to 800 km along the Middle Much of easlern in the State o~ Chihuahua (unpublished well reports. The southwestem boundary is a ma. delrilial sequences sccm lo reftect proximity to the MIs Many of the houndaries are known faults and all are southwestward ex." region larger Ihan that represented by the basement age belts and Paleozoic . displaced fragment of North America... a geologic history) that ties the terrane together (Malpica and de la Torre 1980) with a fauna and J u( as a tectono-stratigraphic entity in space and time. which are partofthe greal into zonations that divide the Republic into three major transgression out of the Gulf of Mexico. Sonora there are outcrops of lower Paleozoic sequences [ Zone 1: nortbwestern Mexico of deep-marine affinity (Peiffer 1979) and there are Zone 1 (Fig. all ZoneJ northeastern Sonora. terranes. Dev . The lerrane is covered by latest Jurassic U.tremity of the Appalachian-Ouachita suspected to be. Figs. = Ordovician.. discontinuity. and (3) a Malpica and de la Torre 1980). upper Paleozoic explaincd as due to a facies change or an unconformity. shales. P The basement terranes of Mexico may be grouped and younger Mcsozoic rocks. of mainly late Paleozoic age. which yield a Precambrian basement (Damon el Mexico. Examples would be the mid-Tertiary volcanic The discontinuity has been tenned the Mojave-Sonora plateau of the Sierra Madre Occidental and the late megashear (Silver and Anderson 1974. changes in age and (or) lithology that cannot be easily southeastern edge of the terrane. frontal zone of the accreted late Paleozoic Ouachita­ 1 These younger overlap assemblagcs cross lerrane ! boundaries. VOL. which inelude in part older rocks and whose paleogeographic affinities with North America Liassic to Upper Jurassic claslíc and volcanoclastic rocks (Anderson and Silver 1979). Gerencia de Exploracion. making up Mexico's wider Pacific similar to the Cordilleran míogeoclinal sequence of margin. and limestoDes words. both of which are Silver 1979)._-. same age in nearby Chihuahua terrane have led lO Ihe Cre!.. 19RJ internal complex. The Caborca terrane I are presenlly unknown or al best very speculative. Anderson and Silver 1979).

and fieldwork by the authors. ed (O me = Cret.Ia. Middlc. Upper Cretaceous. :. 3 and 4. GAMPA AND CONEY 1043 ~is Caborca Chihuahua liaptD :srones Jurasstc e 4) n o ~ :e and 'i. Cenu.. Cre!.~ ~ I volunlc im: and tion and ¡¡oclastic Bterrane :rnosillo. San!. be very lence of kVeber el ring fue 1: . Ap!. Tectono-stratigraphic columns for northwestem Mexico.'P1aced Turon.(f. unpublished data fmm Pemez and Instituto Mexícano del Petroleo files. Pateo. Perro.r. == Upper Triassic. o rd. Paleocene. : is an westem A P t.ere fu-e oa. 'al:eoz:oic [!reS. Penn.'iiniry } 1981). Miss. Also shows lithologic symbols for Figs. :abarca.. Sil. FlG. Silurian. 3). == Precambrian basement. scufuem Ord.tences I~ A"" lev"po.He t. U. Perm. = Cambrian. However. -Sonora 'Son and Ti t on. = Perrnian. L.amb.brian Precamb o 1946. Neoc. = Santonian. lamon el Precamb.. Lower. = Upper Precambrian sedimentary rocks. == Cenomanian. all Zone 11: easlern Mexico of the newly opened Gulf of Mexico.-Misa. U.:rnJwn oí the u~ Tríasslc '2. C. 10 me lI. -Sonora Jwassic U« P r e e B mb. Plio. Campo = Campanian. Jura. U. :. Dev. The largest are me CoahuiJa and Maya ------. Sources: mentand citalions in text.-dthe leozoic Alb. Jmassic Abbrevialions: Precam. Ordovícían. Tilhonian. = Mississippian. Titon. 2. in . mbrian­ ignlphy.. = Albian. o e v~ Sil. =.:híta Dev. == Lower Crctaceous. and Upper Jurassic. e a m b '-I-~~_-. = Turonian.~1íddle Much oí eastern Mexico is overlain by upper scattered exposures and from well data there is evidence d Ander­ Mesozoic and Cenozoic superjacem terranes. !he great ?enn. M. es oI me Trías. Alb. = Aptian. L.-nme is O rd. = Pennsylvanian. = Neocomian. "" Pliocene. laChita­ Camb a major N 90 C. == Devonian. rw a very :W. Tert. = Tertiary. Prccamb..-Miss. U. which are beneath the cover of the basement terranes of concem part of the great post-Middle Jurassic transgression out here (Fig. L. ------~----- ..

. 2 for details. Altiplano region of central Mex:ico in the Sta!es of locally overlain by an Early to Middle Jurassic (?) Permo-Triassic ag· Durango. of the The Sierra Madre and Maya terranes are also both Iarge meta-plulor. which we. Zacatacas. which are both certainly composite but appear Sierra Madre basement terrane may' be a displaced assumed to be rela to be late Paleozoic accretions to North America reJated fragment of North American basement similar !o the opening of the Gu 10 c10sure of the proto-Atlantic Ocean as Africa and Chihuahua terrane. . Flawn er al. M. M. J u r 8. similar facies fuur regions to the nor terranes. Accretion of the North A:-lleric Paleozoic lO Mi. o. O e v. of the Coahuíla South America impinged on North America. EARTH SCI. occurred after the Perol.. u. mp. VOL.flap) t. terranes is relate NOQCw Tllon. then by a Maya rerrane elal. discominuity. closure of the prc Preeamb.rJac::ent Cov. -.-PLio. t.Webben ... ba •• ment tetrano Rockl above . probably a displa< is here portrayed as including part.1981. of Late Triassic t Humphrey 1956). Coahuila CAN.. 1 Permian Pan n. Flawn el al.rtana represent magma accreted agalns! t Camb. Both of these sequences are heterogeneous Ih¡ understood basement terrane is probably composite and part of the history of the opening of the Gulf of Mexico. Peno.. Miss.Turon~ U. ~ The known lith of two parts. rana. through late Palc( L. lup. h lo North America e e no.. M ¡s. 20.Trills. Pal9c. Ju r IL are Jikewise Ihrus terrane in Mex U. the "hinterland" e V. Monterrey discol ently the southea! Jura. Pe f m. erel northwestward O' Ouachita and Mar U. Madre terranes. This poorly exposed and poorly transgression assemblage.. produced the 1ater stages of the Appalachian-Ouachita a Late Triassic to Middle Jurassic early rift assemblage -Marathon orogeny in latest Paleozoic time (Graham of continental redbeds and evaporites. p t. 1961).log C.rtte • • • rrow b.} ~¡¡iliI U. J. S ant. The mo . and San Luis Potosi.lda co'umn Ouachita-Marath.r. 1983 Maya 1 interpret to be p~ arc. J ti r a. 1975. e r 9.-Ord.~t Ihow. The upper Pale. See caption lo Fig. J u r a. Sil. Coahuila terrafle O e. e r et Jurassic Iimeslofi< "'lb terranes. Tectono-stratigraphic columns for eastern Mexico. 3. Lo Cre\. may have becn dis south of North P evaporitic sequer FIG. ji. part is the so-cal Marathon orogen Turco. al. J u r a. which Tbe terranes of eastem Mexico are overlapped first by discontinuity. Jurassic. A third basementterrane post-Middle Jurassic through Late Cretaceous marine Where exposed is the Sierra Madre.­ basement terranes L. Jura. Part of the continental redbed and vo1canic sequence. rv l. . On ? mildly metamor Permian) flysch w granodioritic pll Sierra Madre Paleozoic radiom( 1959. at leas!.

deCserna 1956). Flawn el al. 1­ ~ CAMPA ANO CON6Y 1045 interpret to be part of a Jurassic continental magmatic highly deformed and metamorphosed Paleozoic ftysch are. deep ocean-floor deposits that lay pian and Perrnian age. sandstones. Torre 1980).ceous marine Where exposed the Maya terrane is apparently more (Zuluaga Forrnation) (Córdoba 1963).(Hernandez 1973). but it is possibly the southcastern diseontinuity. This sequence is perhaps not unlike what Humphrey 1956). The Maya and Sierra Perrnian sediments and possible older early Paleozoic Madre terranes. Movement along the feature thus extension of the Torreon-Monterrey discontinuity oceurred after the Middle Triassic and before the Late where it enters the Oulf of Mexico somewhere between : Jurassic. 1 is composite. Matamoros and Vera Cruz. is exposed in Chiapas (Damon el between !he redbeds alld the Zuluaga limestones. limilar to the opening of the Gulf of Mexico. were still mobile with respect and Precambrian rocks whose affinities with North 10 North America until Late Jurass. 1974). 1965. which we. Monterrey discontinuity. . and there are occasional volcanle rocks as well. Webber and Ojeda Rivera 1957). The red sequences are heterogeneous than. These sequences are thrust Cserna et al. an oIder basement terrane Marathon orogen. 1981. 1962b). at least in part of Usually evaporitíc shales and siltstones intervene ~ Jurassic (7) Perrno-Triassic age. Unconforrnably aboye these Ordovician (1) to Pennsylvanian in age and culminates basement terranes lie continental redbeds and evaporites in a Perrnian fiysch (Carrillo 1961. Accrelion of lhe Coahuíla and Maya terranes onto sequences. NearCiudad Victoria the crystalline northwestward over cratonic North America in the basemeot is a metamorphic complex of "Grenville" age Ouachita and Marathon Mountains and we assume they (Fries el al. of the Torreon-Monterrey discontinuity there are ft assemblage exposures of red conglomerate!'l. Ramirez 1978. Tardy 19RO. shales. The ce. amlthere are rocks are often slightly metamorphosed. retaíning a faint . How far and to what degree the evaporitic sequences are considered equivalent to Paleozoic and Precambrian rocks extend beneath the similar facies found along the Atlantic and Gulf coastal remainder of the Sierra Madre terrane are presently regioos to the north in the United States and are here unknown.early Tertiary Laramide orogeny (deCsernaetal. 1977). de through late Paleozoic age. Coahuila terrane The known Iithology of the Coahuila terrane consists Sierra Madre ~{ of two parts. Flawn and Díaz Gulf of Mexíco transgressive sequence deforrned during Ihe Late Cretaceous . which in turn líe aboye south of North America. whích usually yield latest Paleozoic radiometric ages (Bose 1921.ic time. One is a much deforrned and generally The Sierra Madre Oriental is mainly a sequence of mildly meramorphosed upper Paleozoic (moslly foIded and imbricately thrusHaulted upper Mesozoic Perrnían) ftysch with andesitic volcanics cut by scattered limestones. since Upper America are unknown (Clemons el al. are also both large meta-plutonic complex. however. al. The Mesozoic redbed and Precambrian rocks. 1961. The mobility of the Maya and Sierra Madre to Cretaceous transgressive marine sequences cover the terranes is related to movemcnt along lhe Torreon­ basement terrane. The discontinuity is appar­ The boundary hetween the Maya and Coahuila ently lhe southeastern eXlension of the Mojave-Sonora terranes is not known. 1971). however. the Coahuila terrane. In southernmost Chiapas !he North Arllerican continent occurreu uuring lhe lalest and neighboring Guatemala there are Devonian to Paleozoic lo Middle Triassic. then by a Maya terrana and silty shales below Upper Jurassic limestones . which ineludes rocks of Cambrian is revealed (Carrillo 1961. but somewhat similar to. A content. and sandstones of the superjacent I granodíoritic plutons. siltstones. The frontal zone exposed structurally aboye Paleozoic rocks of Mississip­ may have been distal. The southern boundary At scattered localities between Torreon and Ciudad of the Coahulla terrane is the Torreon-Monterrey Victoria along the northem margin of the terrane south lapped first by discontinuity. Denison el al. one might expect as a southeasternmost occurrence of The upper Paleozoic rocks are here interpreted to be the North American craton in Chihuahua terrane or the "hinterland" or interior zone of the Appalachian­ perhaps the fromal zone of lhe Coahuila terrane here Ouachita-Marathon orogenic belt and probably displaced far to the southeast.. 1977. Malpica and de la of Late Triassic to Middle Jurassic age (lmlay 1943. In 1959. Jurassic Jurassic lime~tones are the first units to overlap all three redbeds and volcanic rocks and Middle-Upper Jurassic terranes. Structurally aboye it is a are Iikewise thrust northwestward over the Chihuahua sedimentary sequence Ihat ranges from Cambro­ terrane in Mexico. probably a displaced part of. and sediments frequently have a considerable volcanic llf of Mexico. 11 seems likely the Sierra Madre terrane as : a displaced assumed to be related to early rifting that later led to the portrayed in Fig. A second part is the so-caBed "frontal zone" of the Ouachita­ several anticJinoria. Farther south near the represent magmatic are and fore-arc assemblages trans-Mexico vo1canic axis a Lower Jurassic marine accreted against North America during late Paleozoic scdimentary sequcnce with a fauna of "Pacific" aspect is c\osure of the proto-Atlantic Ocean.

The terrane possibly ineludes older rocks that the north. of suspect terranes here considered 10 have accreted lo North America in laler Mesozoic lO early Tertiary time. A recent Pemex well in the Juarez terrane event.. Folding. J. 1t is arc aspect. ere volcanic axis. The sediments have yielded fossils uf Late in !he State ofOaxaca. sandstone. v middle Tertiary and younger superjacent terranes such The three subterranes are: (1) Teloloapan-Ixtapan. whieh we inlerpret to be part uf the Lower lO This lerrane is mainly a very Ihick Lower to Middle Middle Jurassie magmatie are (Damon et al. as Ihe Sierra Madre Occidenlal and the trans-Mexieo Zihuatanejo. Cenozoic time. Recent fieldwork suggests most are basement terranes as an overlap assemblage in many equivalent to the Lower to Middle Jurassic Nazas areas. The Xolapa by low-grade regional metamorphism and is quite F!e and Sonabari terranes are meta-plutonic complexes of severely deformed. and the Juarez terrane sandstone. where it líes continental andesitic volcanic and associated volcano­ depositionalIy upon whal we terro the Chihuahua elastic sequence thal forms much of the western part uf terrane. in press). beds.. metamorphosed. interbedded limcstones Lale Crelaceous i continent during what might be termed the "greater" wilh Albian fauna. Scattered through these relationships one lo another of these Ihree subdivisions terranes are smaller terranes with older ages and distincI is slill nol c1ear. (2) u. The Triassic and (or) Jurassic. which took place from Late conglomerate. The assemblage has been affected Oaxaca a1so ineludes Precambrian rocks. but there ? " maínder of Mexico until late Mesozoic or even early are Upper Triassic rocks known near Zacateeas L. and moderalely tight Laramide orogeny. Since the basement of these rocks is not may extend into latest Triassic oc Jurdssic time. Cret complicated by the fact that much of it is covered by as are grade of metamorphism and deformational slyle. The smaller terranes are Mixteca Jurassic and Early Cretaceous ages. The known they are shown in a separate column beside the terrane is inlrudeq by Crelaceou!> plulons and is in part Sierra Madre Oriental terrane eolumn in Fig. Along the eastem margin of the largely unknown age and origino Important deep-seated terrane in the State of Guerrero the volcanic and tic sedirnents is ( faults are known to bound these smaller terranes in sedimentary assemblage is Ihrusl eastward over shelf sequence of sands several places. It is. -:-\ Jur a. It is made up of redbeds and ignÍl accreted onto and consolidated wíth the North American mainly andesitic volcanic rocks. both inelude Paleozoic rocks and the 1S presently known. displaced far to the southeast from their equivalents to 1978). the composite Guerrero sediments inlcrstratified with Iimestone. J. but shows no significant metarnorphism throughout this eomplex and varied region. Gastil el al. The stratigraphy in eaeh is diffcrcnt. and al the time of this wriling can Cretaceous age and possibly reach back to fue Late be subdivided into at least three separate sequences. AH of the aboye terranes are dífficult to organize into any paleogeographic reconstruction with the re­ Jurassie to mid-Cretaceous in age and are composed of ' submarine volcanic and sedimentary squences. If the correlalion is correct. 1974) is Alb The main late Mesozoic arc terranes are the Alisitos a sequence of andesitic volcanic and volcanocIastic terrane of Baja California. 1983 cleavage. and we know of no evidence that permits carbonates of Cretaceous age tha! are part of the Mixteca into Albian limes the conclusion that any of them necessarily forrns a terrane platform (Campa el al. Mesozoic submari middle Tertíary volcanic sequences. shale. Sorne of these rocks have been eonsidered Mexico volcanic axis. 4) are a series of This vast terrane is best known in the Sierra Madre del submarine vo\canic and sedimentary rocks of magmatic Sur south of the Irans-Mexieo volcanic axis. Guerrero lerrane The principal basement terranes (Fig. anu terrane of southwestern Mexico. In any (Campa el al. mostly in the Sierra The Huetamo terrane is besl known in Michoacan blages. 20. The terrane no doubt has correlatives Zone IlI: western Mexico across the Gulf ofCalifornia in southern Sonora south of Guaymas and in Sinoloá (shown in Fig. faulting.1046 CAN. Any portrayal of this complex region is (McGehee 1976). 1981) Cretaceous (Aptian-Albian) submarine to partIy known from southem Arizona and Sonora. Al! three subterranes are at least Late ~ facies. and sorne shalc. 4). and redbeds with dinosaur footprints. and (3) Huetamo (sce Fig. The Zihuatanejo terrane is best known along the sou!h the entire upper ¡: The terranes of westem Mexico were apparently coasl of Michoaean and in Colima. There is Cretaceous to early Tertiary time. 1976). It may also reappear in southernmost Republic of Mexico ami is forroed by a composíle group Baja California soulh of La Paz. in fae Madre Occidental and beneath the younger trans. Upwards the basement to the larger submarine magma tic are terranes. these roch are northem Baja California (AllisOll 1955. u. 1 as the This vast region makes up almosl one half of the Guerrero terrane). poorly dated continental sediments considered to Stale of Colima has penetrated over 3000 m of andesitic The J uarez terra be of Lale Eocene to Oligocene age and better dated volcanic rocks and Iimestones. uneonformably cover the Paleozoic basement. EARTH se!. Formation (Pantoja-Alor 1963) exposed west of Alisitos terrane Torreon. where a sequence of Upper Jurassic marine volcanocIas­ Mexico where easl '. The Telolapan-Ixlapan terrane (Campa et al. The assemblage is marine sediments ' sorne metamorphism at Ihis time are widespread deformed. . VOL. and are at least of Late Jurassic to late middle certainly composite. There are also locally continental phosed. No older basement and Oaxaca.

Neoc. east.'~ e r e t {.1+ v. . )Ider rocks that assíc time. offi1ational style. U. oaela/.: y is made up of redbeds and ignimbritic volcanics that are probably calcareous shale and sandstones. shale. amI moderately tight upright folds but is nut metamor­ volcanic rocks (Charlestun 1980. The tlysch passes upward Oulf coastal plain. The ns and is in part has con'clatives ? Sonora south of Fig.ciated volcano.is. I\ rioe lO partly v. Carfantan 1981). of the Oaxaca beds. but there near Zacatecas L. _ ""1. and Pr El' e a m b~ 1 fossils of Late older basement 15 been affected (l and is quite FIG. Deforrnation is very scvere. ¡ences. Neocomian thin­ n dded limestones Late Cretaceotls in age.Y ###BOT_TEXT###47 bly cover the AllaUo. 11 is. westem margín of the terrane the base of the assemblage metamorphism { . well in the Juarez terrane mylonitic gneiss of unknown age. (2) Ponn. scquences.. '" . r t. bul a Ialong the south the entire upper part of the assemblage is continental provisional column is made up of Upper Jurassil. appears to be made up of a very thick east-dipping llell. V' • '. Along the : assemblage is le marine sediments of Late Jurassic age. margín of the ~ volcanic and tic sediments is overlain by a Neocomian Hysch-like de Juarez has carried it ovcr the Maya terrane and the Nard over shelf sequence of sands and shales. . Mi $ 8.Juarez Mixteca Oaxaca this writing can . Tectono-stratigraphic columns for weslem Mexico.-"'­ . v " ~ " :r~:. " !fe composed of ? ". CAMPA AND COKF.()wer [O Middle Al b ~v=~~"~~4 T. 2 for details. N 90 c. i!1 ¡¡eh ís tlífferent. There is no known basement older than the There are also u1tramafic occurrences.. See caplion 10 fig. 1 ¡¡S the in southemmost Sierra Madre del lnie ax.. •lA. . Guerrero nblage in many ZlhuataneJo Huetamo Teloloapan . an-l:dapan. '. ? Apt._v­ _v-"" u ~=~_I=~:. -'1.or6··1 Perm. The terrane is defunned in bedded cherty Jimestones. . By continental phosed. Gastil er al.:'. The Juarez terrane ís also distinctivc :t of the Mixteca into Albian limestones interbedded with tuff and red­ in that it líes "inboard. found within 200 km orthe Oulf of The Mixteca terrane consis[s of a tectonically ¡ne volcanoclas.­ 'v"·. and pillowed anuesitic y sandslone." Alb . 1974) is i volcanoclastic Paleozoíc .4). The ree subdivisions are at Ieast Late Te t t. in fact..ne. u Alb.::::.I=:t==::z::~ o westcm part of 5. Cret. AIb . 4. Upwards the abundance of redbeds increases and Precambrian terrane. The Juarez terrane is the most easterly of the Upper m {) m of andesitic of Mesozoic submarine volcanic and sedímentary assem­ Mixteca terrane 1 in Michoacan blages. It is .." Ihat is. Mexico where eastward verging thrust faulting in Sierra juxtaposed two-part metamorphic basement with an J -" '.

i~ca~-lik. VOL 20. and cobalto and (2) the Mesozoic The Vizcaino terrane. whieh is also descriptive (Fig. a period of ovcr400 years. 1978. and Pennían sedíments implication based largely on agc distribution of mineral (Pantoja-Alor and Robinson 1967). and Juarez.Y%~~pa tcrrane Berg 1981). zinc.104S CAN. 1983 intervening ultramafic body. types (Damon et al. gold and Vizcaíno terrane silver. • northem boundary is known it is in contact with terranes About 400 localities are shown on the map. which is certain Iy composite. and in other places Lower to Middle Jurassic marine rocks overlie the metamorphic rocks. and cobalto When we perfonned this exercise we found the deposils. lsotopic ages simply superimposed the terrane map of our Fig. Then we counted accreted tenane: Csema 1965. found aboye the basement cumplex are apparenUy most We show that at least two major commodity similar to South American fonns rather than North distributions seem to be a function of the distribution of American (Robinson and Pantoja-Alor J 968). metallogenetic map of Mexico compiled by Salas It is defined by its complex metamorphic-plutonic (1975).. of Alisitos. 01' two major (1975). sílver. 1977). basement terr Presently unknown basement. 1981). Minch et al. TerraOl press). but we feel the relationshíps are limestones. Wherc its Mexico sinee colonial times. His map shows the principal producing mines of o aspect and mueh development of migmatite. The tatter study carried a genetie Mississippian. in occurrences. Damon inlo Early Cretaceous (Rangin 1976. 1981). becn described largely as a funetion of prcsent-day Oaxaca terrane major physiographlc-geologic provinccs (Salas 1975) The Oaxaca terrane consists of a granulite and and more recently as a funclion of paleo·Benioff zone anorthositic crystalline metamorphic basement aboye morphology (Damon et al. The basement has deposit zonations identífied by groupings of deposit been isotopical1y dated as "Grenville" in age (Fries el al. the pereentage goes to iJ7~kttna f~G~~~aA1J~~n~. Aptian-Albian-Cenomainian Iime­ tbe tectono-stratigraphic terranes stones. The terrane may underlíe much of southern teresting whe mines are located within the Mesozoic accreted terranes Baja California. The and relationships of these terranes are unknown lo the metamorphic rocks are overlain in places by defonned authors at this time and are not further discussed unti1 Pennsylvanian terrigenous sediments (Calderón Garda 1956. We have north of it by major deep-seated faults. 5. and finally a flysch-like Upper Cretaccous The distribution of Mexico's mineral resources has sequence (Calderón Garcfa 1956). . The origins yield early Paleozoic apparent ages (Ortega 1978). and submarine volcanic sequences of arc coneerned are aspecto Ages range from Triassic through Jurassíc and ~e~~~í~~e j~s:~:s~~~~':~u~. Pennsylvanian. Guerrero. is deposits of lead and zinc. I on the FIG. al! oeeanie roeks found on the westem coast of Baja aceretionary t following: Califomia on the Vizcaino península and on Cedros (1) Over 70% uf Mexíco's important gold and silver The distril ¡sland.mf:~ nf Nc @PJL SET RET=MEDIUM @PJL SET ECONOMODE=OFF @PJL ENTER LAN . regardiess of size. They are consistent with the eonclusions of studies elsewhere (Albers 19~ 1.!~~ t~!a~~ní~a~ r~~~~~c~f 1975. The Xolapa terrane occurs as a long narrow belt along Our data base fOf mineral resouree distribution is the the southern coast of the States of Oaxaea and Guerrero.. 1978. The earIy Paleozoie fossils alternative portrayal. interesting and worth further study. 5). work in progress is completed. The fonner study was which sits depositionally an upperrnost Cambrian to largc1y descriptive and was accompanied by a useful Ordovician terrigenous deposit that is overlain by map (Salas 1975). We present a prcliminary 1962a. • These rocks are in tum overlain by Neocomian shales Mineral resource distribution in Mexico and and Iimestones. If one adds in the the massive : mélanges. J. Lithologies inelude ophiolitic rocks. with or without lead. EARTH se!. Radiometric age detennina­ Jose de las Rusias terrane (Malpica and de la Torre 1980) tions from metamorphic rocks of the lower package is a Carbonifcrous sedimentary sequence. Ortega et al. also younger tf'rr.~n over 84%. Campa et al. Above the basement terranes presented in this reporto We offer the Paleozoic rocks are redbeds and Aptian-Albian no genetic explanation. Silva 1970). commodity groups: (1) the precious metals. with or without associated within (he M" (5) Of the -- used here to encompass a very eomplexjuxtaposition of gold. Guerrero et al. Selec' from the terrane range from Jurassic to Tertiary (de metallogenetic map of Mexico.

. E. This we feel is helpful.--l '.terranes. James Monger (ose). 1 of this reporto the Mesozoic accrctcd tcrranes and only J4% are found Jnstituto Mexicano del Petroleo. They are project is to compile a tectono-stratigraphic terrane map also younger than the accretion of the various suspect of the North American Cordillera. deposits. 76. Guerrero. Selected mineral resource distributions in Mexíco. and teresting when one considers that with the exception of Petroleos Mexicanos. and Peter J. Middle Crctaccous gastropods from Acknowledgments Punta China. pp. We would certainly nOI wish cooperation in Mexico with Paul Damon and to convey the impression that Ihe distribution panerns discussions with Spencer Titley (University of Arizona) we discem necessarily nullify the genetic models based have been very use fuI . supported by the United States Geological Survey The distribution patterns reported' abo ve are in­ (usos).rran •• ~ Gold enel Sil ••• o 300 km heewe """"'*" FIG. the Canadian Geological Survey (ose). 5. and the National Science Foundation for (5) Of the known massive sulfide volcanogenetic support. Continuing terranes ofNorth America. Baja Califomia. Mexico. ALLlSON. and are thus younger than the (University of Arizona). 198 \. Maria concemed are Late Cretaceous or Cenozoic in age (Salas Femanda Campa (Pemex). We would simply point of Mexican mineral deposits. 765-790. Dickinson suggests a significant elernent of basement control on (University of Arizona) have been encouraging and very resource distributions io Mexico. CAMPA AND eONEY 1049 ~ AIIIllo" GUfur. 29(3). 1981). Economic Geology. The objective of this in progress basement terranes upon which they are found. particularly field work leading to this report. Distribution of gold-silver and lead-zínc in Mexico with rcspect to acaeted terranes of Alisitos. Jones (usos). provocative and warraots further analysis both for future resource discovery strategies and for deeper insight into ALBERS. Mineral localities after Salas (1975). Damon eral. Terranes after Fig. all are in the Mesozoic submarine volcanic This work is also pllrt of a larger intemational effort accretionary terranes. J. the University of within the Maya-Coahuila . P. and Juarez and cratonic North America terrane of Chihuahua. mineral deposit genesis in Mexico. R. A lithologic-tectonic framework forthe rnetallogenic provinces of California. Guerrero. particularly in our understanding on Benioffzone morphology. pp. which involves Norm Silberling the massive sulfides the vast majority of the depusits and David L. 1955. C. Coney 1975. Joumal of The authors are grateful to Petroleos Mexicanos. the Paleontology.ro t and Juarlz 1. Discussions with Henry out that the distribution pattem we observe strongly Berg and John Albers (usos) aod with W. 400-432.

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