JOURNAL OF PETROLOGY

VOLUME 38

NUMBER 6

PAGES 677–702

1997

Cretaceous Basaltic Terranes in Western Colombia: Elemental, Chronological and Sr–Nd Isotopic Constraints on Petrogenesis
A. C. KERR1∗, G. F. MARRINER2, J. TARNEY1, A. NIVIA3, A. D. SAUNDERS1, M. F. THIRLWALL2 AND C. W. SINTON4†
1 2 3 4

DEPARTMENT OF GEOLOGY, UNIVERSITY OF LEICESTER, UNIVERSITY ROAD, LEICESTER LE1 7RH, UK DEPARTMENT OF GEOLOGY, ROYAL HOLLOWAY UNIVERSITY OF LONDON, EGHAM TW20 0EX, UK INGEOMINAS—REGIONAL PACIFICO, AA 9724, CALI, COLOMBIA COLLEGE OF OCEANOGRAPHY, OREGON STATE UNIVERSITY, CORVALLIS, OR 97331, USA

RECEIVED AUGUST 19, 1996 REVISED TYPESCRIPT ACCEPTED JANUARY 10, 1997

Accreted terranes comprising Mid to Late Cretaceous picrites, basalts and dolerites occur in three north–south trending belts in western Colombia, in the Central Cordillera, Western Cordillera and along the Pacific coast. The geochemistry of these rocks is consistent with an oceanic plateau (plume-related) origin, and they most probably formed in the Pacific as part of the Caribbean oceanic plateau. These igneous rocks display small but significant inter-cordillera variations, being younger and more depleted in incompatible trace element ratios (and with more positive Nd values) to the west. The ´ ´ igneous rocks of the Pacific coast (Serranıa de Baudo) are dated at 73–78 Ma ( 40Ar/39Ar), and those of the Western Cordillera at ~90 Ma, whereas the volcanics of the Central Cordillera are believed to be older than 100 Ma. Most of the igneous rocks are basaltic, and it is suggested that they have fractionated from picritic primary magmas, generated by partial melting within a hot mantle plume. Variable and positive Nd values reveal that the plume must have been heterogeneous, originating from a mantle source with a long-term history of depletion. Partial melt modelling suggests that the composition of the basalts requires at least some input from a mantle source region containing garnet and that the extent of partial melting required to reproduce the composition of the erupted basalts is of the order of ~20%. Mixing of melts from different depths, either in the mantle melting column or during fractionation in lithospheric magma chambers, can explain the relative homogeneity of basaltic lavas erupted to form this (and other) oceanic plateaux. The Caribbean–Colombian oceanic plateau may have formed at
∗Corresponding author. Telephone: +44 116 2523639. Personal fax: +44 116 2523639. Department fax: +44 116 2523918. e-mail: ack2@le.ac.uk † Present address: Graduate School of Oceanography, Rhode Island University, Narragansett, RI 02882, USA

an oceanic spreading centre, and valuable comparisons can be made between Iceland and the Caribbean–Colombian plateau.

KEY WORDS:

basalt; Colombia; geochemistry; mantle plume; oceanic

plateau

INTRODUCTION
The relative contribution of lithospheric vs asthenospheric (plume) mantle sources to continental flood basalt volcanism is a contentious subject in the petrological literature (e.g. Gallagher & Hawkesworth, 1992; Saunders et al., 1992; Arndt et al., 1993; Thirlwall et al., 1994; Gibson et al., 1995). One thing seems relatively clear: only a small percentage of plume-derived continental flood basalts pass cleanly through the continental lithosphere, with the rest being contaminated. The nature of this contamination and the discussions bearing on its relative importance have tended to divert attention away from the primary cause of the volcanism, the plume itself. Increasingly, however, it has been realized that mantle plumes form not only continental flood basalts but also

© Oxford University Press 1997

JOURNAL OF PETROLOGY

VOLUME 38

NUMBER 6

JUNE 1997

oceanic flood basalts or, more specifically, oceanic plateaux that have thickened oceanic crust (>8 km) (e.g. Carlson et al., 1980; Ben-Avraham et al., 1981; Mahoney, 1987). Such plateaux are only locally exposed at the surface (e.g. Ontong Java in the Pacific and Kerguelen in the Indian Ocean), but they offer us the chance to study what is, in effect, an oceanic analogue of a continental flood basalt province, without the complication of sub-continental lithospheric contamination. A major problem is that most parts of extant oceanic plateaux are still submerged beneath deep water. To a certain extent, they can be sampled by drilling (e.g. Vallier et al., 1980; Saunders, 1985; Mahoney, 1987; Mahoney & Spencer, 1991; Storey et al., 1992) but this really just ‘scratches the surface’ (Coffin & Eldholm, 1993), as the greatest depth to which any of these oceanic large igneous provinces has been drilled is 700 m into the Nauru Basin (Saunders, 1985). Nevertheless, another way in which oceanic plateaux have been made accessible for detailed study stems from the fact that these plateaux (especially if they are young) are more buoyant than normal oceanic crust and will therefore resist subduction (Ben-Avraham et al., 1981; Cloos, 1993; Saunders et al., 1996). Thus the upper reaches of such a plateau may be obducted onto the margin of the overriding plate (see Kimura & Ludden, 1995). Such a situation is believed to have occurred in the Solomon Islands (Tejada et al., 1996) and the Wrangellia terrane (Lassiter et al., 1995). Arguably, the best exposed oceanic plateau available for study is the Late Cretaceous Caribbean oceanic plateau, which makes up most of the Caribbean Plate, and is exposed around its tectonically disturbed margins (Donnelly et al., 1990; Kerr et al., 1996b, c, 1997) (Fig. 1). In this paper we focus on the less well-known parts of the Caribbean plateau which were accreted against northwestern South America, and now form a series of mafic terranes in western Colombia. We present new geochemical and Sr–Nd isotopic data to demonstrate that these Cretaceous igneous rocks are part of the Caribbean oceanic plateau, rather than supra-subduction zone ophiolites. We assess the nature of the mantle plume involved in the petrogenesis of these Colombian volcanics, and present new 40Ar/39Ar radiometric ages for the basalts, so as to estimate the spatial and temporal extent of this plume-related volcanism.

REGIONAL TECTONIC SETTING
The distribution of volcanic rocks belonging to the Caribbean–Colombian Cretaceous Igneous Province is shown in Fig. 1. These Cretaceous volcanics around the margin of the Caribbean have been discussed by various workers [see Donnelly et al. (1990) and Kerr et al. (1996c, 1997) for reviews], and indeed the basalts forming the

Caribbean sea floor itself have been drilled by DSDP Leg 15 (Donnelly et al., 1973; Bence et al., 1975). The Caribbean ocean floor is composed of anomalously thick crust (up to 20 km; Edgar et al., 1971), which Donnelly (1973) and Donnelly et al. (1973) considered a flood basalt province. It is now generally accepted that the Caribbean plate was formed in the eastern Pacific as a Large Igneous Province (LIP) in the Late Cretaceous (e.g. Duncan & Hargraves, 1984; Burke, 1988; Pindell & Barrett, 1990; Kerr et al., 1997). Using a fixed hotspot reference frame, Duncan & Hargraves (1984) and Hill (1993) suggested that the magmas of the Caribbean–Colombian Cretaceous Igneous Province were produced by partial melting within the initial ‘plume head’ of the Galapagos hotspot. East´ ward movement of the Farallon plate in the Late Cretaceous–Early Tertiary forced the northern half of the plateau into the ocean basin which had been opening between North and South America since the Jurassic. The eastward moving plateau appears to have been too buoyant (owing to its thermal structure and crustal thickness) to be subducted beneath the westward moving American oceanic plate (Burke et al., 1978; Hill, 1993), thus jamming the subduction zone and causing a flip in the direction of subduction from east to west, such that the Atlantic plate was being consumed at the subduction zone, as opposed to the Farallon–Caribbean plate (Pindell ´ & Barrett, 1990; Lebron & Perfit, 1994). Further south, the Caribbean–Colombian plateau impinged against the northwestern continental margin of South America, leading to imbrication and obduction of the plateau and progressive westward back-stepping of the subduction zone to form the accreted oceanic plateau terranes of northwestern South America (Millward et al., 1984; Kerr et al., 1996c). The Romeral Fault zone (Fig. 2) represents a major terrane boundary in northwestern South America. To the east of the Romeral Fault, Bouguer gravity anomalies are strongly negative (–220 mgal; Case et al., 1973), confirming geological observations that the basement is composed of continental crust. In contrast, to the west of the Romeral Fault system, anomalies are strongly positive (+135 mgal at the Pacific coast and +75 mgal in the Western Cordillera of Colombia; Case et al., 1971). Therefore, the basement to the west of the Romeral Fault is composed of high-density material, consistent with an oceanic origin. Because present-day volcanoes in western Colombia erupt subduction-related lavas, several earlier interpretations of the tectonic setting of the Cretaceous basalts suggested a subduction-related environment of formation (Barrero, 1979; McCourt et al., 1984; Bourgois et al., 1987; Spadea et al., 1987; Grosser, 1989). Other workers have argued that the basic lavas of western Colombia represent former oceanic crust (Pichler et al.,

678

1982).. 1987). namely the Central Cordillera. Millward et al.. Central Cordillera The mafic igneous rocks of the western flank of the Central Cordillera occur in several discontinuous lenses. Previous studies (e. Map showing the location of Cretaceous basalts of the Caribbean–Colombian oceanic plateau.. and precise 40Ar/39Ar ages. from Medellın in the north to Pasto in the south. is the first to report comprehensive major and trace element data. (1984). However. The largest continuous outcrop of mafic volcanics in the Central Cordillera. 1991) have tended to focus on the major and trace element composition of basalts from relatively small areas. The ´ exposures are bounded to the east by the Romeral Fault (Fig.. 1987. typical ophiolitic sequences. (1996c) that the Cretaceous Colombian mafic terranes formed as part of an oceanic plateau. most of which have sheeted dyke complexes. Nivia (1987). 1974. 2) which trend approximately NNE–SSW. In doing this we hope to shed some new light on the petrogenesis and original tectonic setting of the Cretaceous Colombian basalts. Storey et al. (1991) and Kerr et al. Bourgois et al. Sr–Nd isotopic analyses.KERR et al. as Nivia (1987) has pointed out. Storey et al. Spadea et al. resulting from partial melting of a mantle plume. 1980.. CRETACEOUS COLOMBIAN BASALTIC TERRANES—FIELD RELATIONS AND SAMPLING The Cretaceous mafic sequences form three main belts (Fig. This study. for the Cretaceous basalts throughout a wide area of Colombia. Here we evaluate more fully the suggestion by Millward et al. 1. indicative of spreading ridges. 1984. Also shown are Deep Sea Drilling Project (DSDP) Leg 15 drill sites. 2). which generated thicker than normal oceanic crust. however. Mooney. are not found in the Cretaceous accreted terranes of Colombia. known as the Amaime Formation 679 .g. the Western Cordillera and the ´ ´ Serranıa de Baudo along the Pacific coast. CRETACEOUS COLOMBIAN BASALTS Fig. Cretaceous volcanics of the Central Cordillera also extend along the trace of the Romeral Fault into northern Ecuador (Lebras et al.

To the west of the Guabas–Pradera Fault an elongate (north–south) body of mafic and ultramafic rocks (30 km long × 7 km wide) is exposed. 2 include the pillowed picritic and picritic-basalts and tuff-breccias ´ found at El Encenillo. Other exposures of the igneous rocks of the Central Cordillera shown in Fig. known as the Ginebra Ultramafic Complex (Nivia.. which consists mostly of a series of ultramafic cumulates with some massive and pillowed picritic to basaltic lavas (Spadea et al. 1989). Map of western Colombia showing the three main belts of Cretaceous igneous rocks. 2. along with sample localities mentioned in the text. 3b) (McCourt et al. The formation consists of both massive and pillowed tholeiitic basalts and occasional cumulate picrites which occur in several fault-bounded blocks of 5–10 km width. 5–20 km wide and bounded by the Romeral Fault to the east and by the Guabas–Pradera Fault to the west. 1987) (Fig. (Fig. (1984) and Spadea et al. Some 680 . and the Los Azules complex. is 140 km long. 3b). wehrlites and layered and isotropic gabbros.. (1989). The occurrence of picrites within the Amaime Formation has also been noted by McCourt et al. This body consists of a sequence of dunites.JOURNAL OF PETROLOGY VOLUME 38 NUMBER 6 JUNE 1997 Fig. 20 km SSW of Popayan. Aspden & McCourt (1986) proposed that this sequence represents a lower-crustal level of the Amaime Formation. which are overlain by amphibolitized basalts. 1984).

The volcanic section of the Los Azules complex (Fig. Exposed to the east of the ´ Arquıa Complex is a discontinuous (5–10 km wide) belt of basalts. 2). The areas ´ ´ covered by these maps are outlined in Fig. andesites and tuffs. Basaltic samples were collected along the Pan American Highway near Taminango (YAN1–8). as well as west of Florida (FLO1–4). basalts and several cumulate picrites were sampled from the main outcrop of the Amaime Formation east of Cali [SW and NE of the town of Sevilla and due west of Buga (AMA1–12). 40 km north of Pasto a sequence of pillowed and massive lavas is exposed along a new road cut traversed by the Pan American Highway. 2) blocks in a picrite breccia (ROM4ii) and a picritic flow (ROM2) were sampled.KERR et al. CRETACEOUS COLOMBIAN BASALTS Fig. Along the eastern margin of the Romeral Fault a 5–10 km wide belt of high-pressure lawsonite–glaucophane schists and eclogites can be found stretching from southern Ecuador to north–central Colombia. near the village of Taminango. 1996) of lavas and tuffs from the Quebradagrande Complex suggests that they have been formed in a subduction-related tectonic setting. Close-up maps of (a) the Serranıa de Baudo and (b) the area around Cali [after Nivia (1987)] detailing sample locations. which is believed to be part of the basaltic sequence of the Central Cordillera. and at El Encenillo (Fig. 3. which is separated from the Central Cordillera by the Cauca–Patia Graben. 3].. 2) yielded basalts and cumulate and noncumulate picrites. Fig. tectonically intermixed with Palaeozoic low-grade schists—the Quebradagrande Complex (Fig. Preliminary geochemical studies (A. These highgrade metamorphic rocks are associated with highly tectonized and serpentinized ultramafic rocks and gabbros (McCourt & Feininger. Nivia et al. Only the non-cumulate picrites and basalts (LER4. During the present study. and are known as ´ the Arquıa Complex (Fig. AZU2 and -3 and ROM5–10) will be discussed in this paper. unpublished data. and from the coastal Serranıa de ´ 681 . A basaltic sample (BAR2) was also collected from a minor fault-bounded sliver 30 km ´ SW of Medellın. Western Cordillera The most extensive outcrops of Cretaceous basalt in Colombia occur in the Western Cordillera (Figs 2 and 3). 2. 2). 1984).

1997). 1979. Millward et al. the Barroso ´ Formation. It has recently been suggested by Nivia et al. Coarser-grained basalts and dolerites form either massive flows or intrusive sheets (200–300 m thick). in preparation) and that they could represent the lower section of the Caribbean–Colombian oceanic plateau (Kerr et al. 1996). Steeply eastward-dipping fault-bounded lenses of metasediments sometimes separate the volcanic slices (Fig. sediments make up more than half of the outcrop. the Dabeiba Volcanic Arc (Tistl & Salazar. Palaeontological evidence (Barrero. Aspden. (1996) that the difference in deformation between the two formations is due to the relative competence of each formation.. and these are summarized in Table 1. the Penderisco Formation. cherts and greywackes. with the generally finer-grained Cisneros sediments being more deformed than the coarser Espinal Formation sediments. Along the western periphery of the Western Cordillera. The pillow lavas can be up to 50 m thick. 1984).. This complex consists of both layered and isotropic gabbros and norites.. The Cisneros Formation may be up to 2000 m thick (Barrero. consist of a sequence of cherts. 1984). and hyaloclastite breccia is commonly found between the individual pillows. 1979).. The igneous rocks crop out in NNE–SSW trending fault-bounded slices which can be up to 15 km wide. at 4°15′N (Fig. with occasional lenses of pelites and cherts. shales and pebbly sandstones. thin tuffs. Sedimentary and structural data indicate that the sequence in each fault block youngs towards the east. 1979) sequence of both pillowed and massive basaltic lavas. which sometimes preserve chilled skins and occasionally concentrically arranged amygdales.JOURNAL OF PETROLOGY VOLUME 38 NUMBER 6 JUNE 1997 Table 1: Stratigraphic nomenclature of the rocks of the Western Cordillera Northern Western Cordillera Barroso Formation (volcanic) South–Central Western Cordillera Penderisco Formation (sedimentary) } Volcanic Formation (volcanic) Canasgordas Group ˜ Espinal Formation (sedimentary) Cisneros Formation (sedimentary) Baudo sequence by the San Juan–Atrato Trough (Fig. eruptions may have occurred in shallower water. dolerites. 1979. 1996. 1984). 682 . it consists of a sequence of strongly deformed slates and phyllites with thin lenses of meta-limestones. In the northern section of the Western Cordillera. structurally underlain by serpentinized dunite containing bands of both clinopyroxenite and olivine gabbro–norite. Very few mafic dykes cut the volcanic formation. ´ 2).. The composition of the rocks from the Bolıvar complex ´ strongly suggests that they are genetically related to the basalts of the Western Cordillera (Nivia. 1978). The associated volcanic rocks. with vertical to sub-vertical bedding planes (Millward et al. dolerites. Nivia. In central and southern Colombia sedimentary rocks comprise ~30% of the Western Cordillera and they have been divided into two main formations: the Cisneros and Espinal Formations (Barrero. In contrast. 1979. Millward et al. The presence of a few tuffs within the lava succession of the Western Cordillera suggests that as the lava pile accumulated. no evidence of subaerial eruptions has so far been found In the eastern part of the Western Cordillera. local gabbros and rare tuffs. and is in faulted contact with igneous rocks of the Western Cordillera. a sequence of Early Tertiary subduction-related volcanics crop out. The basalts and dolerites are highly sheared in places and have undergone low-grade (zeolite and prehnite– pumpellyite facies) metamorphism (Barrero. although there are several small gabbroic plugs. the ~700 m thick Espinal Formation is composed of a series of relatively unmetamorphosed cherts.. These sediments. and volcanic breccias. black micritic limestones and deposits with possible turbiditic characteristics (Alvarez & Gonzalez. The Volcanic Formation (formerly the Diabase Group) consists of a >5 km thick (Barrero.. 1997). nevertheless. 3). 1984). known as the Bolıvar–Rıo ´ ´ Frio ultramafic complex (Kerr et al. include basalts (with some pillows). Kerr et al. McBirney (1963) has calculated that at hydrostatic pressures >315 bars (3·15 km seawater depth) explosive fragmentation and vesicle formation are not possible. 3b) a suite of ultramafic–mafic rocks crops out (Barrero. The rocks of the Western Cordillera are known by several different formation names depending on their location in Colombia. suggests that the Cisneros Formation is older than the Espinal (and Volcanic) Formation. although they are more often <10 km in width. 1979). and appears to be conformable with the volcanics of the Western Cordillera (McCourt et al. hyaloclastites. Associated sedimentary lenses (chert and grey shales) are usually <30 m thick. Thus the abundance of pillow lavas with only rare vesicles (now infilled) and the scarcity of intercalated limestones and tuffs. combined with the occurrence of cherts and grey shales within the basaltic succession. 1984. imply that the bulk of the lava succession was erupted in a considerable depth of water (>3 km).

The basalts.. crops out along the eastern margin of the belt. 30 km NNE of Cali (VIJ 1–4. ( 39Ar/37Ar)Ca=6·73×10–4 and ( 40Ar/39Ar)K=1·00×10–3. Al2O3. A scattered discontinuous belt of basalts intercalated with silicified shale. on the Remolino to El Barroso road. 1985). The XRF data are reported in Table 3. Eocene) (Table 2). despite extensive sampling along the coast from 7°10′N to 5°30′N (Fig. The rare earth elements (REE) and Th. 0·03. Rb. not reported by previous workers (Goossens et al. Zr. 3b). 2). Reported errors are 2 . ´ and from the Barroso valley along the road to Jardın (BAR3–11). 0·1. CaO. andesites and pyroclastic rocks of this ´ arc are best developed to the west of Medellın (Fig. Fig. yielded a plateau age of 43·1±0·4 Ma (i. The basalts are unconformably overlain by a poorly exposed sequence of subduction-related basalts which are intercalated with Eocene limestones (Gansser.. along with peridotites and layered gabbros. CRETACEOUS COLOMBIAN BASALTS Table 2: 40Ar–39Ar plateau and isochron age calculations from Western Colombia Sample Location Material Plateau age by 1/ SDB11 SDB11 SDB16 AN1464 PAN6∗ Serranıa de Baudo ´ ´ Serranıa de Baudo ´ ´ Serranıa de Baudo ´ ´ Dabeiba Volcanic Arc Western Cordillera whole rock plagioclase plagioclase plagioclase whole rock 2 39 Ar % of Isochron age (Ma) 72·9±0·8 71·8±1·4 76·2±1·1 41·4±8·6 94·7±6·4 N SUMS/ (N – 2) 40 Ar/36Ar (m. 0·1. using step heating techniques.y. Ba. Cr. Sr. 1%. Fe2O3. 1996a).. Ta and Hf (Table 4) have been analysed by instrumental neutron activation analysis (INAA) at the University of ´ ´ Serranıa de Baudo The westernmost belt of Cretaceous volcanic rocks outcrops principally along the Pacific coast of NW Colombia. major and trace elements were analysed by X-ray fluorescence (XRF) at Royal Holloway University of London and Leicester University using conventional techniques [see Tarney & Marsh (1991) and Kerr et al. 1·5%. PAN2–11 and 19) and at Calima. 3a). P2O5. and this is perhaps a reflection of their younger age (see below). ANALYTICAL METHODS After powdering in an agate Tema® mill. intercalations of fine-grained sandstone. Van Thournout et al. 0·2. Sc. Macia. 2). Gorgona Island is the location of the world’s only known ´ Phanerozoic komatiites (Echeverrıa. Na2O. 0·3. 1%. volcanic rocks were sampled in the Vijes area. A suite of lavas have also been collected from the Barroso Formation type-section 40–60 km SW ´ of Medellın (Fig. 0·1. b=4·963×10–10 yr–1.KERR et al. To the south. V. Additionally. The coastal exposures in the region consist of pillowed and massive basalts. WallrabeAdams. 1973). and the rocks appear to be significantly younger than the basalts of the Western Cordillera. 1%. 1980. This formation consists of a more westerly subduction-related sequence of lavas and volcaniclastic sediments (Henderson. 0·2. the Macuchi Formation has been widely correlated with the Volcanic Formation (McCourt et al. (1996b) for further details]. 1990. The nature of these intercalated sediments implies a shallower eruption depth for these basalts than for those of the Western Cordillera. no evidence of lavas with spinifex (komatiitic) textures was found. Although 683 .. 1977. Ni. 0·03. ∗Sample PAN6 is from Sinton (1996). 0·1.. Nb. However..) total 98 95 35 72 89 intercept±1 304·4±2·9 324·2±4·3 310·6±11·8 323·2±13·7 292·4±15·6 73·6±0·8 72·5±0·4 77·9±1·0 43·1±0·4 91·7±2·7 5 10 3 5 3 2·60 0·55 0·58 17·03 0·25 Ages calculated using the following decay constants: e=0·581×10–10 yr–1. 1·0. 40Ar/39Ar dating of a basalt from the Dabeiba Volcanic Arc (AN1464). U. Basalts ´ and some gabbros were collected from the Serranıa de ´ Baudo coast (SDB1–25. Isotopic interferences for the OSU TRIGA reactor are: ( 36Ar/37Ar)Ca=2·64×10–4. 1994). 1987). Kerr et al. 2·0. 3b).e. dolerites and gabbros. Lebras et al. Lebras et al. The 2 SD errors are as follows: SiO2. chert and limestones were found between some of the basalts. 3a). with some basaltic breccias (with clasts up to 30 cm in diameter). Y. Co. 0·05. 2) represents ´ ´ a continuation of the basalts of the Serranıa de Baudo. Fig. Ga. 0·03. in Ecuador. Dense jungle and deep tropical weathering meant that sampling was restricted to coastal exposures. K2O. McGeary & Ben-Avraham (1986) proposed that the volcanic succession on Gorgona Island (Fig. 0·5. 50 km north of Cali (COL-1. 1984. 0·4. Fig. TiO2. ´ ´ known as the Serranıa de Baudo (Figs 2 and 3a). 1987. and has been termed the ‘midocean ridge basalt’ of the Macuchi Formation (Lebras et al. 1992). 1987). 1979. MnO. 0·03. MgO. Western Cordillera igneous rocks were sampled from new road cuts along the Cali to Buenaventura road (CBU2–17..

Table 3: X-ray fluorescence major and trace element data for Cretaceous Colombian volcanic and intrusive rocks CaO Na2O K2O TiO2 MnO P2O5 Total† LOI % Ni Cr V Ga Sr Rb Ba Zr Nb Y Type: Sample SiO2 Al2O3 Fe2O3∗ MgO JOURNAL OF PETROLOGY Serranıa de Baudo ´ ´ VOLUME 38 684 8·63 8·22 8·92 8·32 10·29 10·39 8·68 9·25 8·29 7·76 8·71 8·93 12·47 12·34 12·44 13·46 10·11 10·01 11·17 11·92 12·84 11·72 13·13 11·77 1·72 2·04 1·60 1·04 2·56 2·20 2·57 2·09 2·31 2·78 2·11 2·69 0·07 0·27 0·07 0·04 0·37 0·76 0·50 0·77 0·17 0·08 0·29 0·33 0·85 0·94 0·91 0·95 1·24 1·15 1·18 1·10 1·25 1·28 1·16 1·13 0·202 0·162 0·158 0·091 0·233 0·225 0·200 0·205 0·153 0·182 0·190 0·186 0·076 0·082 0·078 0·085 0·087 0·091 0·081 0·076 0·088 0·097 0·092 0·087 100·37 100·68 100·49 100·97 99·90 99·84 99·95 99·99 99·99 99·90 99·95 99·96 1·46 1·69 1·69 1·78 2·97 3·01 2·71 2·88 3·09 3·02 2·71 2·80 133 143 2 18 113 118 128 147 103 94 129 140 441 573 0 70 261 301 336 522 288 240 420 365 252 254 149 257 331 336 328 305 333 331 311 299 14·59 14·70 14·03 14·85 14·57 14·04 14·05 13·51 14·43 13·86 13·67 15·70 16·91 13·12 14·25 14·19 14·10 13·84 14·62 14·48 13·92 16·15 16·05 12·14 12·22 13·39 11·31 11·56 12·67 12·63 9·65 10·92 12·62 9·24 10·79 9·80 11·86 11·53 13·34 12·99 14·62 11·14 11·07 13·21 13·05 12·35 8·21 7·80 7·59 8·34 7·19 7·34 7·46 9·94 8·35 7·53 10·10 7·10 10·13 7·10 6·90 6·77 6·81 6·18 7·97 8·05 5·08 7·59 7·73 12·04 12·10 10·96 12·03 11·38 12·10 7·98 14·53 11·83 11·55 13·75 11·81 12·12 12·57 9·00 10·94 11·53 11·23 10·10 11·54 11·27 8·41 8·57 3·18 3·28 4·02 3·10 4·09 3·01 7·03 2·05 2·75 3·34 1·48 2·43 1·42 2·35 4·75 2·89 2·60 2·47 2·33 2·80 2·98 3·19 4·79 0·22 0·21 0·14 0·19 0·15 0·10 0·05 0·09 0·59 0·16 0·09 0·23 0·09 0·15 0·13 0·15 0·22 0·16 1·11 0·18 1·04 0·75 0·91 1·17 1·22 1·40 1·00 1·26 1·37 1·15 0·57 0·98 1·18 0·63 1·10 0·76 1·22 1·20 1·47 1·29 1·66 0·92 0·94 2·91 2·57 2·49 0·191 0·212 0·143 0·143 0·189 0·223 0·169 0·171 0·184 0·210 0·177 0·207 0·141 0·217 0·163 0·230 0·166 0·192 0·170 0·223 0·215 0·173 0·182 0·096 0·097 0·117 0·075 0·102 0·106 0·089 0·039 0·075 0·088 0·051 0·090 0·061 0·088 0·096 0·117 0·108 0·092 0·070 0·074 0·339 0·258 0·257 99·77 100·27 99·95 99·71 99·85 99·46 99·92 98·83 99·16 98·61 99·03 99·40 100·10 99·33 99·73 100·72 100·65 100·69 99·84 100·62 100·34 100·21 100·25 2·23 1·81 1·63 1·10 1·32 1·47 3·99 1·39 0·92 0·96 2·10 2·30 2·07 1·67 3·42 1·57 2·89 0·59 1·79 2·10 0·90 2·91 3·51 115 112 87 127 110 95 97 178 97 96 226 105 282 80 104 97 79 41 111 116 77 88 81 318 317 169 408 335 242 236 489 250 255 917 252 418 100 228 208 157 18 353 342 145 136 139 276 292 305 311 286 309 309 220 321 315 202 228 170 295 261 331 273 527 278 283 387 315 305 15·4 15·7 17·2 15·4 16·3 16·8 12·7 13·2 17·3 17·5 13·8 16·5 15·1 17·2 13·0 19·1 17·4 21·6 15·0 15·0 20·1 20·2 19·4 220 247 216 184 124 228 39 88 106 95 91 191 90 129 95 156 186 112 306 213 331 345 363 2·2 1·9 1·9 3·4 2·8 1·2 2·4 2·2 5·7 2·0 2·4 3·3 2·6 2·6 3·0 2·5 3·3 2·9 6·9 2·6 25·1 7·0 6·8 191 109 71 31 44 33 15 28 34 45 27 63 13 26 64 37 283 26 196 36 131 449 1042 69 74 81 57 67 82 50 28 48 61 33 70 34 63 59 70 73 55 67 58 217 170 176 3·3 3·5 5·1 3·6 4·0 4·7 3·5 1·2 3·5 3·5 1·3 3·9 2·5 3·3 3·6 4·3 4·2 2·7 2·6 3·5 19·9 13·3 14·8 22·3 23·1 28·4 20·1 24·2 25·7 22·9 13·3 19·4 24·9 14·4 23·3 14·2 24·6 23·8 29·4 24·9 25·6 18·6 20·3 36·5 29·7 31·8 NUMBER 6 JUNE 1997 bas SDB1 47·93 bas SDB2 48·44 bas SDB4 48·16 bas SDB5 48·68 bas SDB7 49·37 bas SDB8 48·50 bas SDB9 49·32 bas SDB10 48·27 bas SDB11 49·06 bas SDB12 48·08 bas SDB13 49·85 dol SDB14 49·93 gab SDB15 48·67 gab SDB16 50·66 bas SDB17 51·71 bas SDB18 50·63 bas SDB19 50·85 br cl SDB20 50·25 br cl SDB21 51·41 bas SDB22 51·26 br cl SDB23 49·38 bas SDB24 48·06 br cl SDB25 46·93 Western Cordillera bas BAR5 51·61 bas BAR6 52·02 bas BAR7 51·59 bas BAR8 51·93 bas CBU2 48·95 bas CBU3 48·87 bas CBU4 49·07 bas CBU5 48·39 bas CBU6 48·57 bas CBU7 49·00 bas CBU8 47·90 bas CBU9 48·77 14·1 13·8 15·2 13·2 17·3 16·0 16·4 16·3 16·5 15·5 15·7 15·6 99 93 417 390 137 159 207 218 176 187 358 154 6·9 2·3 47·0 22·6 2·5 5·5 5·8 6·8 1·6 0·7 3·6 3·0 49 40 918 654 138 229 289 345 57 67 258 130 14·31 14·44 14·41 14·56 14·46 15·35 15·09 14·88 14·77 15·13 15·12 15·14 10·43 10·16 10·32 10·50 11·61 10·80 11·41 11·32 11·54 11·88 11·25 10·93 51 46 76 59 58 61 57 50 62 66 58 60 4·5 4·6 7·1 2·4 3·4 3·3 3·2 2·6 3·3 3·5 3·4 3·2 18·1 17·5 24·0 14·2 21·3 24·1 21·6 19·7 23·2 24·1 23·2 22·3 .

andesite. CRETACEOUS COLOMBIAN BASALTS 685 10·37 9·07 8·10 13·24 9·37 16·64 7·13 9·61 11·39 8·64 10·41 15·79 10·65 11·50 12·54 9·47 1·75 3·82 3·76 1·26 3·10 1·90 3·34 3·89 0·09 1·14 0·46 0·79 0·44 0·22 0·03 0·27 2·21 2·69 1·37 1·02 1·48 0·91 1·66 1·27 0·257 0·120 0·183 0·161 0·176 0·230 0·191 0·176 0·246 0·355 0·142 0·083 0·196 0·092 0·172 0·103 99·09 99·64 100·03 99·88 99·76 99·82 99·65 99·53 2·01 3·11 1·90 1·61 1·82 2·19 3·27 1·89 437 109 123 223 210 436 96 186 729 334 394 747 411 1556 150 844 286 259 369 378 365 325 423 361 bas CBU10 48·19 14·89 bas CBU11 51·06 13·12 bas CBU12 51·41 12·50 dio CBU13 57·94 10·68 dol CBU14 50·37 14·67 dyke CBU17 52·22 13·88 bas PAN2 53·73 12·65 bas-a PAN3 53·90 12·40 dol PAN5 50·07 14·79 dol PAN6 50·25 14·33 dol PAN7 51·30 14·19 dol PAN8 48·29 15·06 dol PAN9 50·89 14·38 dol PAN11 51·13 13·34 and PAN19 58·07 12·75 dol COL1 49·09 14·87 bas VIJ1 51·45 12·85 bas VIJ2 51·85 13·12 bas VIJ4 51·20 13·34 Central Cordillera bas AMA1 54·14 14·32 bas AMA2 50·45 14·69 bas AMA3 50·22 13·79 bas AMA4 49·91 14·36 bas AMA5 50·11 14·21 bas AMA6 50·10 14·37 bas AMA8 49·98 13·98 bas AMA9 50·24 14·36 bas AMA11 50·04 13·61 dol AMA12 50·35 14·88 bas FLO1 50·43 14·21 bas FLO2 46·92 15·23 bas FLO3 49·81 13·78 bas FLO4 49·87 13·82 dol YAN1 50·40 14·16 bas YAN2 49·38 13·16 bas YAN3 50·41 14·67 bas YAN4 50·86 14·22 dyke YAN5 51·25 13·31 bas YAN6 49·76 12·66 bas YAN7 48·69 15·00 bas YAN8 51·28 13·55 bas BAR2 51·40 14·52 Los Azules and El Encenillo‡ bas ROM2 46·78 12·34 bas ROM4ii 49·06 13·66 bas LER4 49·73 13·25 p-bas AZU3 48·99 8·66 bas ROM5 48·53 14·62 pic ROM7 46·14 9·74 bas ROM9 47·27 14·38 bas ROM10 49·59 12·43 7·66 9·15 10·30 9·06 7·99 9·02 7·71 8·78 7·28 7·15 8·43 7·47 8·98 9·27 6·52 5·23 9·40 8·57 6·50 4·99 9·20 6·93 7·48 16·7 19·1 16·3 11·7 19·7 13·5 16·7 15·4 179 176 219 263 295 40 83 328 9·70 10·58 12·23 12·75 12·01 12·05 11·52 12·85 11·91 12·76 12·11 20·04 14·04 13·79 8·94 8·89 11·84 13·22 9·96 13·04 12·02 9·94 8·90 2·65 2·97 1·45 1·62 1·96 2·15 2·03 1·81 1·65 1·24 2·71 0·12 1·77 1·69 2·84 2·47 2·19 1·39 2·34 0·44 1·84 3·07 3·52 0·06 0·77 0·08 0·30 0·11 0·32 0·31 0·04 0·15 0·08 0·20 0·00 0·10 0·06 0·53 0·18 0·17 0·03 0·11 0·02 0·15 0·23 0·31 0·91 0·87 0·88 0·92 1·09 0·99 2·01 0·99 2·21 0·38 0·99 0·82 0·94 0·94 1·47 2·02 0·81 0·87 1·44 1·78 0·97 1·23 1·31 0·114 0·171 0·175 0·171 0·205 0·177 0·182 0·180 0·183 0·251 0·173 0·155 0·167 0·170 0·180 0·234 0·156 0·179 0·202 0·232 0·215 0·205 0·219 0·098 0·068 0·078 0·081 0·083 0·085 0·181 0·087 0·204 0·032 0·086 0·070 0·077 0·080 0·112 0·171 0·061 0·066 0·120 0·148 0·079 0·099 0·102 99·87 99·84 99·77 99·88 99·80 99·93 99·74 99·93 99·71 99·83 99·83 99·80 99·94 99·92 99·83 99·79 99·92 99·94 99·89 99·76 99·74 99·88 100·49 0·71 2·26 1·73 1·40 0·07 2·33 1·63 2·14 0·77 0·33 1·44 3·64 0·84 1·20 3·93 1·41 1·16 3·59 0·57 3·53 1·36 1·50 2·71 96 124 229 143 148 144 136 110 119 52 135 137 159 158 71 53 157 135 82 57 147 82 105 204 489 602 415 403 438 310 213 212 96 433 422 454 456 27 30 562 404 81 40 426 103 206 333 298 282 291 293 295 352 363 359 295 304 257 285 286 416 558 294 322 420 510 336 407 312 14·4 12·8 13·1 13·3 14·9 14·5 17·3 14·0 19·9 12·5 14·3 19·9 14·5 14·8 16·7 19·3 13·0 13·6 17·7 15·7 15·3 15·5 13·9 90 132 149 139 97 110 238 812 235 30 125 12 86 103 120 99 96 85 90 22 98 421 174 0·5 10·3 1·4 5·0 0·0 4·6 6·2 1·5 2·4 0·7 4·0 0·3 1·6 0·7 9·6 2·3 3·1 0·3 1·3 0·3 3·6 3·1 5·5 2·9 16·1 4·9 9·9 6·4 3·2 0·3 3·2 23 48 27 62 17 40 82 40 51 15 23 3 23 15 26 29 21 7 25 50 45 42 52 135 149 939 133 52 15 80 60 41 47 48 56 54 125 47 139 16 54 44 51 51 69 113 41 45 74 98 50 61 74 148 198 69 41 92 46 93 61 4·1 2·7 4·5 4·4 5·1 5·1 15·2 3·4 17·2 0·7 4·8 4·1 4·6 4·7 4·1 7·1 2·6 2·7 4·8 6·2 3·2 4·3 3·5 24·8 30·3 5·1 3·0 8·8 3·1 6·0 4·6 20·8 17·7 16·4 18·1 19·5 17·5 24·6 22·4 26·8 9·9 19·0 15·4 17·5 17·2 28·0 43·2 17·5 19·0 30·4 38·5 20·7 27·7 25·2 23·9 26·5 20·5 15·9 23·6 13·7 23·6 20·5 10·22 10·12 10·57 10·72 12·03 10·67 11·84 10·60 12·47 12·71 10·49 8·97 10·28 10·23 14·69 18·05 10·22 10·54 14·66 16·69 11·58 13·35 12·72 13·66 11·09 12·63 9·89 11·21 12·44 12·94 12·72 bas. -7. dol. breccia clast.12·11 14·79 14·78 17·32 11·91 10·50 15·93 15·99 11·17 11·80 11·81 12·43 11·92 13·91 11·18 10·66 15·20 15·11 14·30 8·66 6·01 5·92 1·52 7·97 8·53 5·03 5·11 8·70 8·17 7·79 8·50 7·44 6·58 4·90 9·29 5·78 6·20 6·50 12·21 6·98 7·77 6·66 11·27 10·68 7·54 7·84 11·69 11·66 10·89 11·38 10·90 9·86 5·71 12·22 9·57 9·15 9·96 2·29 5·07 4·62 3·44 2·19 2·51 2·90 2·69 2·19 2·16 2·50 2·24 2·57 3·12 4·77 1·67 2·29 2·04 2·20 0·04 0·14 0·34 0·12 0·22 0·17 0·04 0·06 0·08 0·07 0·20 0·24 0·13 0·22 0·02 0·31 0·07 0·07 0·07 1·24 1·97 1·86 1·45 1·14 1·13 1·94 1·88 0·99 1·06 1·13 1·23 1·21 1·62 0·79 1·11 2·02 2·02 1·98 0·180 0·205 0·249 0·265 0·182 0·141 0·203 0·213 0·178 0·198 0·182 0·234 0·192 0·231 0·134 0·164 0·185 0·230 0·179 0·101 0·162 0·157 0·159 0·089 0·087 0·192 0·163 0·084 0·092 0·101 0·095 0·091 0·128 0·120 0·093 0·171 0·177 0·158 99·92 99·50 99·60 99·55 100·00 99·85 100·16 100·22 99·95 99·79 100·09 99·69 99·72 100·13 98·45 99·47 99·59 99·97 99·89 3·00 2·17 1·69 0·31 2·35 3·27 2·78 2·70 0·98 0·64 1·09 2·24 1·12 1·18 1·76 2·22 0·90 1·18 1·59 117 67 56 30 140 97 35 45 130 109 89 96 91 65 52 145 58 57 72 355 69 62 3 193 262 13 17 235 199 170 183 190 54 73 360 63 61 85 311 475 464 8 316 290 454 490 305 326 342 401 370 430 210 246 531 531 510 15·9 19·0 15·2 20·2 15·6 15·7 17·6 17·1 15·7 16·7 16·3 16·6 15·5 18·8 14·9 16·1 20·2 18·8 17·3 117 63 33 116 99 79 74 94 100 91 101 110 100 99 40 131 89 89 100 1·1 1·1 2·7 2·4 2·4 1·9 0·4 0·1 1·2 0·7 2·9 2·6 1·5 2·9 0·0 1·5 0·4 0·7 0·5 78 92 153 35 21 701 35 34 20 19 34 86 35 58 13 69 27 27 26 66 110 108 240 56 56 128 102 49 55 58 62 56 80 67 64 119 120 107 3·9 7·2 7·6 25·5 3·8 3·0 8·6 7·0 3·6 4·1 4·2 3·9 3·8 5·5 4·1 2·6 8·0 8·2 7·2 24·4 38·8 38·3 76·2 22·9 21·1 46·4 37·9 20·4 23·2 23·5 25·3 24·7 32·0 24·7 24·2 41·7 41·7 39·3 KERR et al. . picrite. gabbro. picritic basalt. LER4. basaltic andesite. AZU3 and ROM5. -9 and -10 are from Los Azules. pic. basalt. †All totals reported on a volatile-free basis. bas-a. ‡ROM2 and ROM4 are from El Encenillo. and. dolerite. diorite. p bas. gab. ∗All iron reported as Fe2O3. br cl. dio.

international reference material SRM987 averaged 0·710243±17 (2 SD. Neutron flux during irradiation was monitored by FCT-3 biotite (27·7 Ma. and one from the Dabeiba Volcanic Arc by 40Ar/39Ar step heating. The basalts of the Western Cordillera have proved more problematical to date. Hurfurd & Hammerschmidt. one sample (PAN6) has been successfully dated (Table 2) and has yielded a plateau age of 91·7±2·7 Ma. 1990. Aspden et al. b). owing to both their altered nature and low K2O contents.. The plagioclase separates (~100 mg) were analysed using an MAP 21550 mass spectrometer. (2) The volcanic and intrusive rocks of the Western and Central Cordillera form one province. The powders used for Sr isotope analysis were leached in 6M HCl for 1 h before commencing the chemical procedures. on a VG354 mass spectrometer fitted with five Faraday collectors.JOURNAL OF PETROLOGY VOLUME 38 NUMBER 6 JUNE 1997 Leicester [see Fitton et al. Samples were sealed in evacuated quartz glass vials and irradiated for 6 h at the OSU TRIGA nuclear reactor facility. or K gain) K/Ar ages. These previous interpretations are unfortunately heavily dependent on unreliable (owing to Ar and K loss. We have dated two basalts from ´ ´ the Serranıa de Baudo. through the Western Cor´ ´ dillera. Plagioclase crystals were magnetically separated. 1977. briefly washed in 5% HF and ultrasonically cleaned in distilled water. We have also restricted palaeontological evidence to those fossils that are derived from sediments which are clearly stratigraphically intercalated (rather than tectonically intercalated) with the volcanic rocks. (3) The Cretaceous volcanic belts young westwards from the Central Cordillera. ´ ´ The Serranıa de Baudo rocks yield 40Ar/39Ar stepheating plateaux which range from 72·5±0·4 to 77·9±1·0 Ma (Table 2). 1979. This can be attributed to a combination of alteration. whereas uncertainties in the isochron ages reflect the analytical errors of the more poorly determined step ages and the particular distribution of Ar isotopic compositions in 36Ar/40Ar vs 39Ar/ 40 Ar plots. Sr and Nd isotope ratios (Table 5) were measured at Royal Holloway. n=14). 1996a). The more altered samples were leached a second time in 6M HCl. in which the slope is proportional to the age (isochron) and the inverse of the y-intercept gives the initial 40Ar/36Ar composition. Plateau ages were calculated from consecutive steps that are concordant within 2 error using the procedure described by Dalrymple et al. Lebras et al. Duncan & Hogan. the low K2O contents of the rocks and interferences from hydrocarbons. 1984). 1987. 1994) Whole-rock samples were either crushed in bulk in a ceramic jaw crusher (PAN6) and sieved to a uniform 0·5–1·0 mm grain size or made into mini-cores. to the Serranıa de Baudo (McCourt et al. 1985). ´ ´ have yielded significantly older ages (86·0±4·6 to ´ ´ 88·3±1·9 Ma) than the basalts of the Serranıa de Baudo. (1988). During the period of the analyses. Goossens et al. Marriner & Millward. Additionally. 1973). Samples CBU11 and CBU12 from the Western Cordillera displayed erratic step ages such that no age plateaux or isochrons could be discerned.. several samples were analysed for REE by inductively coupled plasma-atomic emission spectroscopy at Royal Holloway [see Walsh et al. n=64) and laboratory standard ‘Low Aldrich’ averaged 0·511421±9 (2 SD. 1987). and on palaeontological evidence from associated sediments that are only in tectonic contact with the volcanic rocks. Plateau ages almost invariably have smaller errors because the weighting procedure emphasizes the most precisely determined age steps. GEOCHRONOLOGY Different environments of formation as well as different relative ages have been proposed for the three belts of Cretaceous igneous rocks: (1) The igneous rocks of the three belts form part of one near-synchronous province (Goossens & Rose. in which step ages were weighted by the inverse of their variance (Table 2). We will therefore restrict our discussion to the plateau ages. one from the Western Cordillera. Isotope correlation diagrams ( 36Ar/40Ar vs 39Ar/40Ar) were made for each analysis. isotopic interferences and atmospheric argon contamination ( 40Ar/36Ar=295·5). The isochron ages are calculated using the same steps as in the plateau ages. 1980). consistent with the occurrence of Upper Cretaceous bivalves in intercalated sediments (Gansser.. 1984. Ar isotopes of the whole-rock samples (~500 mg) were determined using an AEI MS-10S mass spectrometer. mass fractionation. 1973. The isotopic analysis procedures have been described by Thirlwall (1991a. Individual ages for each 40Ar–39Ar temperature step were calculated after corrections for background. Feininger & Bristow.. (1997) for analytical details]. 40Ar/39Ar dates for the basalts and gabbros of Gorgona Island. whereas those ´ ´ of the Serranıa de Baudo constitute a younger province (Barrero. This age is also consistent with palaeontological evidence from the 686 .. Nevertheless. (1981) for analytical details]. checked for purity under a binocular microscope. The implications of this will be discussed below. the proposed offshore continuation of the Serranıa de Baudo (Kerr et al.] Age determinations for whole-rock and plagioclase mineral separates from the least altered samples were performed at Oregon State University using standard 40 Ar–39Ar incremental heating techniques (Duncan & Hargraves. [See Thirlwall (1991a) for comparison of ‘Low Aldrich’ with international standards.

instrumental neutron activation analysis. . inductively coupled plasma-atomic emission spectroscopy.Table 4: Additional trace element data for selected Cretaceous Colombian intrusive and volcanic rocks La Ce Pr Nd Sm Eu Gd Tb Dy Ho Er Yb Lu Hf Ta Th U Sample Method Sc Co Serranıa de Baudo ´ ´ SDB8 INAA 45·2 3·4 1·5 2·7 1·5 3·4 3·8 3·2 12·6 2·3 2·8 2·7 5·9 4·9 9·6 3·1 2·7 3·9 2·5 6·1 5·8 3·2 11·9 0·5 3·7 3·5 8·5 — 7·8 2·4 0·9 — 10·1 — 7·9 2·7 1·0 4·4 1·7 — 1·5 bdl 0·3 — 0·2 0·8 0·6 28·0 — 18·4 4·5 1·6 5·4 0·8 8·6 — 6·6 2·1 0·7 2·4 0·5 — — — — — 16·4 — 12·10 3·77 1·42 5·51 0·95 — 16·6 — 12·4 4·0 1·5 0·9 — — — — — — — — 6·1 — 6·5 2·1 0·8 — 0·6 — — 11·1 1·5 8·9 2·7 1·1 — — 4·6 1·0 7·3 0·9 5·8 1·7 0·7 — — 2·9 0·6 1·9 3·1 — — — — — — — — 8·5 — 7·3 2·3 0·9 3·0 0·7 — — — 27·4 — 22·3 7·2 2·4 9·6 1·8 — — — 14·5 — 13·1 3·8 1·4 5·8 1·0 — — — 4·0 9·9 2·6 1·9 3·0 2·2 4·3 4·0 2·1 2·1 1·3 2·9 2·8 15·0 — 12·2 3·9 1·4 — 0·9 — — — 4·1 7·5 — 6·9 2·2 0·9 — 0·5 — — — 2·2 7·6 — 6·20 2·24 0·96 3·26 0·58 — — — 2·2 0·35 0·26 0·62 0·67 1·32 0·34 0·29 0·48 0·26 0·63 0·65 0·35 0·30 0·20 0·46 0·39 7·3 — 5·8 2·0 0·8 — 0·4 — — — 2·0 0·31 29·8 21·89 5·3 1·96 5·82 0·96 — — 2·6 0·38 4·59 1·65 1·70 1·65 3·10 3·08 8·60 1·74 — — 1·43 3·14 2·97 1·73 3·43 0·48 1·65 1·75 8·0 — 6·4 2·4 1·1 — 0·6 — — — 2·5 0·36 1·68 9·8 — 9·3 2·9 1·1 — 0·8 — — — 2·8 0·43 2·05 0·30 0·20 0·95 0·18 — 0·18 0·45 0·46 1·61 0·24 — — 0·17 0·48 0·46 0·41 0·92 bdl 0·29 0·31 8·2 — 7·2 2·4 1·0 — 0·6 — — — 2·4 0·33 1·81 0·24 4·1 — 3·5 1·3 0·6 5·2 0·4 — — — 1·4 0·20 0·91 0·12 6·2 — 6·1 1·9 0·8 — 0·6 — — — 2·1 0·32 1·40 0·23 0·40 0·12 0·26 0·30 0·31 1·19 0·25 0·31 0·23 0·59 0·61 1·20 0·29 — — 0·27 0·62 0·59 0·60 1·19 bdl 0·43 0·43 5·5 — 5·41 — 0·62 — 0·32 — — — 1·31 0·21 — 0·08 0·29 10·7 — 8·4 2·7 1·2 3·3 0·7 — — — 2·4 0·40 2·25 0·29 0·33 bdl bdl bdl bdl bdl bdl bdl bdl 0·12 bdl 0·11 0·25 bdl bdl bdl — — bdl 0·21 bdl bdl bdl bdl bdl 0·17 47·0 SDB10 INAA 57·2 56·7 SDB11 INAA 49·6 46·6 SDB13 INAA 51·7 52·2 SDB16 INAA 55·0 47·4 SDB18 INAA 46·2 49·9 SDB20 INAA 54·5 54·0 SDB25 INAA 34·4 50·3 KERR et al. XRF. ICP-AES. Western Cordillera CBU5 INAA 48·5 50·5 CBU8 INAA 48·2 51·7 CBU9 INAA 44·3 46·1 CBU11 INAA 48·2 48·0 CBU12 INAA 42·3 42·2 CBU13 INAA 52·4 48·3 CRETACEOUS COLOMBIAN BASALTS 687 19·8 5·6 4·8 4·7 13·8 — 10·7 12·5 — 10·2 3·1 3·3 14·3 1·9 10·5 3·0 45·1 26·19 5·88 2·1 1·1 1·2 1·3 6·38 3·7 3·8 4·1 0·85 — 0·8 0·7 — 3·6 — — — 0·7 — — — 2·1 — — CBU14 INAA 46·4 49·7 PAN5 ICP-AES — — PAN11 ICP-AES — — COL1 INAA 46·3 49·2 VIJ1 INAA 47·6 48·0 VIJ4 INAA 48·3 39·5 Central Cordillera AMA1 INAA 36·9 39·0 AMA8 INAA 39·6 45·5 AMA12 INAA 52·6 48·2 YAN1 INAA 50·7 50·2 YAN8 INAA 49·1 45·7 Southern Central 1·9 1·8 2·6 2·5 0·27 0·26 0·39 0·44 5·01 — 2·46 2·53 1·71 — 0·44 0·51 2·12 — 0·40 0·45 bdl — — — Cordillera ROM4ii XRF 30·5 39·5 ROM5 ICP-AES — — Standards (INAA) BOB-1 33·5 56·3 measured BOB-1 — — recomended INAA. X-ray fluorescence.

This suggests that the more andesitic portion of the Macuchi Formation. like the Dabeiba Volcanic Arc sequence (sample AN1464 dated at 43·1±0·4 Ma. The only palaeontological ages come from intercalated sediments in the western arc-derived province. 1986). i = 75 Ma for Serranıa de Baudo.. summarized by Nivia (1987)] will be discussed in a later section. suggesting that the formation of the Amaime basaltic crust and its accretion onto the margin of NW Colombia must have occurred in the Early Cretaceous. (1987) noted the presence of Cenomanian to Turonian (97–88 Ma) microfaunas in limestones and cherts interbedded ´ with basalts. well before 100 Ma. and the Quebradagrande Complex. 1984). Additionally. This tonalite has yielded an Rb/Sr mineral isochron (on biotite and hornblende) of 99±4 Ma (McCourt et al. Unfortunately. the basalts of the Western Cordillera.JOURNAL OF PETROLOGY VOLUME 38 NUMBER 6 JUNE 1997 Table 5: Radiogenic isotope data for Cretaceous Colombian intrusive and volcanic rocks 87 Sr/86Sr m (87Sr/86Sr)i 143 Nd/144Nd m (Nd)i Serranıa de Baudo ´ ´ SDB8 SDB11 SDB13 SDB16 SDB18 SDB20 0·703039 ± 10 0·703854 ± 11 0·703073 ± 11 0·703128 ± 13 0·703429 ± 9 0·702998 ± 11 0·703224 ± 11 0·703246 ± 11 0·703855 ± 11 0·704572 ± 9 0·704714 ± 12 0·704909 ± 10 0·703686 ± 11 0·703297 ± 12 0·703795 ± 10 0·704404 ± 11 0·703420 ± 10 0·705033 ± 10 0·703856 ± 11 0·703563 ± 13 0·703023 0·703687 0·702991 0·703065 0·703380 0·702918 0·513081 ± 5 0·513048 ± 7 0·513073 ± 7 0·513070 ± 5 0·513067 ± 8 0·513073 ± 7 0·513053 ± 11 0·513047 ± 14 — 0·513020 ± 20 0·513019 ± 5 0·513014 ± 5 0·513063 ± 5 0·513049 ± 5 — 0·512953 ± 4 0·512909 ± 5 0·513056 ± 13 0·513027 ± 6 0·513078 ± 4 8·66 8·06 8·16 8·36 8·48 8·18 Western Cordillera VlJ1 VlJ4 CBU4 CBU9 CBU11 CBU12 CBU13 CBU14 COL1 0·703207 0·703227 0·703751 0·704500 0·704650 0·704606 0·703610 0·703208 0·703753 8·13 8·01 — 7·54 7·46 7·56 8·31 8·14 — Central Cordillera AMA1 AMA8 AMA12 YAN1 YAN8 0·704376 0·703292 0·704919 0·703461 0·703527 6·19 6·01 7·77 7·40 8·77 ´ m. intercalated sediments. Bourgois et al. i = 120 Ma for Central ´ Cordillera. the Macuchi Formation in Ecuador can be divided into two petrological provinces: an eastern. 50 km NW of Medellın. Nevertheless. where foraminifera of Eocene age have been reported (Henderson. whereas Barrero (1979) reported the occurrence of Turonian–Coniacian (91–87 Ma) microfossils and ammonites from the Espinal Formation. i = 90 Ma for Western Cordillera. As was noted above. see above). no Central Cordillera basalts or dolerites were fresh enough or contained enough K2O (>0·1 wt %) to yield reliable 40Ar/39Ar ages. no fossils have been found within the intercalated sediments (Aspden & McCourt. and a western tuff-rich andesitic province. 1979). the metasediments of which have yielded poorly preserved fossils ranging from Hauterivian to Albian [135–97 Ma. the compositions of basalts from the Central Cordillera are similar to those 688 . Thus the igneous rocks of the Central Cordillera would appear to be appreciably older than those of the Western Cordillera. For example. One of the few constraints on the age of the Amaime Formation comes from the fact that it is intruded by the Buga tonalitic batholith. and should not be correlated with. measured isotope ratio. which are in turn younger than the volcanic and intrusive rocks of the ´ ´ Serranıa de Baudo. more basaltic province. The tectonic significance of these Eocene subduction-related volcanics along the western periphery of the Western Colombian and Ecuadorian Cordillera. is significantly younger than.

1987). The basalts and dolerites are generally aphyric but occasionally microphenocrysts of clinopyroxene can be found. and contain augite and variably altered plagioclase laths (labradorite to andesine) with <5% anhedral Fe–Ti oxides as the principal minerals. 1995) and so has been plotted against all the other minor and trace elements. Textures range from plagioclase laths and euhedral clinopyroxene microphenocrysts in a groundmass of plagioclase and clinopyroxene spherulites. quartz and calcite. In several samples altered olivine has been recognized in the groundmass. The rocks of this small group. clinopyroxene and Fe–Ti oxides. Humphris & Thompson. Analytical results Serranıa de Baudo ´ ´ The volcanic and intrusive rocks of the Serranıa de ´ Baudo fall into two main groups. pyroxene and secondary minerals. or occasionally a very fine-grained granular texture. Sr. thus implying a similar petrogenetic history. the possible chemical effects of subsolidus mobility of elements must be considered. PETROGRAPHY AND MINERAL CHEMISTRY Central Cordillera The basalts and dolerites consist of plagioclase. with secondary chlorite. Ophitic textures are common. Nb. In contrast. and include chloritized glass. Zirconium is widely regarded as being essentially immobile during low-grade alteration of basaltic rocks by hydrothermal fluids (e. iron oxides. Western Cordillera Most of the basalts and dolerites are fine. like TiO2. produce good correlations against Zr. Secondary minerals such as chlorite. (1989). 1987). and occasionally altered (to chlorite and iddingsite) subhedral olivine microphenocrysts can be found. 1978. with altered glass only being found in the outer skin of pillows. as in other altered basalts. A selection of these diagrams is shown in Fig. Euhedral to subhedral olivine phenocrysts. and are due either to variable degrees of partial mantle melting or to a heterogeneous mantle source region. Gibson et al. zeolites occur in small amounts within the groundmass and also in amygdales and sometimes in veinlets. GEOCHEMISTRY Alteration and elemental mobility The altered nature (up to prehnite–pumpellyite grade) of the rocks from all three cordilleras means that before any petrological inferences can be drawn from the chemistry of the rocks. Y and TiO2. these large ion lithophile elements have been extensively mobilized. quartz and 689 . whereas the fresher plagioclase crystals vary between An67 and An50 (Nivia. within a granular groundmass of plagioclase. comprising one basaltic lava and two volcanic breccia blocks. but olivine is more common as an altered groundmass mineral. with <5% Fe–Ti oxides. The minor differences in ratio seen in the Y and Nb vs Zr plots are significant. zeolites. An excellent summary of the petrography and mineral chemistry of the picrites and basalts from El Encenillo and Los Azules has been given by Spadea et al. having more enriched incompatible trace element contents than the rest of the Serranıa de Baudo rocks at similar MgO (5–8 wt %) ´ ´ levels (Figs 4 and 6). well correlated with Zr contents. pumpellyite. variation in these elements will not be discussed further. Rb and K2O display virtually no correlation with Zr. 1987). which are altered to serpentine. implying relative immobility. which strongly implies that. Accordingly.g. Figure 5 shows that the primitive Serranıa de Baudo ´ ´ The basalts and dolerites are mostly holocrystalline. are more common than in the Western Cordillera (see below). Nivia. CRETACEOUS COLOMBIAN BASALTS of basalts from the other two Cordilleras. to ophitic to subophitic clinopyroxene enclosing or partially enclosing plagioclase laths.KERR et al. The first group is ´ represented by three samples (SDB23–25) which come from the southernmost exposure of basalts on the Pacific coast of Colombia (Fig. Nivia. 1987) and anhedral to occasionally euhedral diopside and augite (En5035Wo44–35Fs6–30. Occasionally. Kerr. and these lavas can contain pyroxene and plagioclase phenocrysts. All the other minor and trace elements are. 1982. which are also believed to be relatively immobile. Textures vary from ophitic to subophitic with plagioclase laths poikilitically enclosed within anhedral clinopyroxenes. zeolites. Ba. Other minor minerals are mostly secondary in origin.to mediumgrained holocrystalline rocks. but aphyric basalts still predominate. pumpellyite and quartz. Y and Nb. are mildly alkaline. The clinopyroxenes are relatively fresh and range in composition from diopside to augite (Nivia. chlorite. fine to medium grained. set in a groundmass of variably altered plagioclase laths (An72–50. plagioclase and pyroxene form glomeroporphyritic clusters. to intergranular and intersertal. Olivine phenocrysts (altered to chlorite and iddingsite) are occasionally found as pseudomorphs.. 3a). albite. 4.

Plots of Y. Sr. Ba and Rb vs Zr. Nb.) 690 . TiO2. K2O.JOURNAL OF PETROLOGY VOLUME 38 NUMBER 6 JUNE 1997 Fig. (Note that the large ion lithophile elements display virtually no correlation with Zr content. 4.

and lie slightly below the main fractionation trend (Fig. CBU11 and CBU12) have higher abundances of incompatible trace elements. All the basalts shown in Fig. Los Azules. 1996c). Four of the samples also display a restricted range in ( 87Sr/86Sr)i from 0·70292 to 0·70307. 3b) in an area where rhyolitic dykes of uncertain origin cut the lava succession (Kerr et al. In addition. -13 and -15) have lower Nb/Zr ratios (Fig. in which basalts with >6·0 wt % MgO (VIJ1. 10·1 to 14·7 wt % Fe2O3(total) (Table 3) and 6·0 to 10·4 wt % MgO (Fig. The rest ´ ´ of the basalts and gabbros of the Serranıa de Baudo possess relatively flat primitive mantle-normalized patterns (Fig.. CRETACEOUS COLOMBIAN BASALTS major element composition [48·0–51·7 wt % SiO2.KERR et al. 5 and 6). also part of the Caribbean–Colombian oceanic plateau (Kerr et al. All the rocks (except SDB22–25) are slightly depleted in light REE (LREE) [(La/Nd)pn 0·75–1·0. occur near the town of Vijes (Fig. ROM5. Y. ( Nd)i (where i=75 Ma age corrected value) span a narrow range from +8·0 to +8·7. (b) ´ ´ the Western Cordillera and (c) the Central Cordillera (ROM4ii. A diorite (CBU13. respectively. possess similar incompatible trace element contents and ratios to SDB23–25 (Fig. mantle-normalized pattern of SDB25 is relatively steep. the basalts of the Western Cordillera are Fig. 9·2–14·6 wt % Fe2O3(total)]. Plots of incompatible trace elements vs MgO (Fig. 2). Cali–Buenaventura road) intruding the basaltic pile has only 1·5 wt % MgO (Fig. 6·2– 10·1 wt % MgO (Fig. 7a] and have (Sm/Yb)pn ratios ranging from 1·0 to 1·2 (pn denotes primitive mantlenormalized. These more evolved lavas have SiO2>53 wt % and MgO<5·1 wt %. Western Cordillera The lavas and intrusives of the Western Cordillera are tholeiitic in character. 7) in comparison with the rest ´ ´ of the Serranıa de Baudo rocks. This depletion is characteristic of all the other incompatible trace elements. and thus have relatively small ranges in incompatible trace element ratios (Figs 7 and 8c). 6). as the primitive mantle-normalized pattern of SDB13 shows (Fig.. 5 have essentially parallel and flat primitive mantlenormalized patterns. 5. two basaltic andesites (PAN2 and -3) and an andesite PAN19. and range from 48 to 53 wt % SiO2. SDB18 and SDB11 have elevated ( 87Sr/86Sr)i of 0·70338 and 0·70369. and that the La/Y and Nb/Zr ratios of this group are consistently higher (Fig. with the more evolved basalts having generally higher levels of incompatible trace elements. Nb and TiO2 values than the rest of the basalts and gabbros. 5. This feature is also observed in Fig. El Encenillo). Sun & McDonough. 6). 6) and higher levels of incompatible trace elements than the basalts of the Western Cordillera (Figs 4. 6). 5) ranging from 2 to 6·5 times primitive mantle. Fig. 1989). and exhibits marked troughs in P and Ti on a primitive mantle-normalized diagram (Fig. These tholeiitic basalts and gabbros exhibit a moderate range in 691 . 6) show a typical negative correlation. Primitive mantle-normalized (Sun & McDonough. ´ ´ The isotopic data for the Serranıa de Baudo samples are given in Table 5 and plotted in Fig. 1989) multielement plots for the igneous rocks from (a) the Serranıa de Baudo. 7). 7b) and higher 147Sm/144Nd (Fig. 1996a). The second group comprises the remaining volcanics ´ ´ and intrusives from the Serranıa de Baudo. however. As Fig. Most of the rocks are basaltic in composition. It is interesting to note that the more enriched (e-)basalts from Gorgona Island (Fig. 5a). 7a shows. 8. 5). These three samples (SDB10. 8) ´ ´ than the rest of the Serranıa de Baudo rocks. In terms of trace element contents. two basalts (SDB10 and -13) and one gabbro (SDB15) have slightly lower Zr.

Plots of Zr. The non-cumulate lavas range from 7·1 to 16·6 wt % MgO (Fig. and the mostly less enriched basalts and dolerites of the Amaime Formation and the Yana area. the higher values falling within the range of calculated MgO content (12·8–17·3 wt %) (Spadea et al.) Also shown are modelled (using the TRACE3 program. 6. 5). Ticks on the fractional crystallization trends represent 10% crystallization intervals. three of the basalts have elevated ( 87Sr/86Sr)i (>0·7045) with only a small concomitant decrease in ( Nd)i values. whereas those from El Encenillo are more alkaline. Therefore ROM7. the diorite being distinctly higher at 0·7036 (Fig. 1988) fractional crystallization trends for three starting compositions: a. The rocks of the Western Cordillera have ( Nd)i (i=90 Ma) in the range +7·5 to +8·1. In terms of trace elements. CUR7 (picrite).JOURNAL OF PETROLOGY VOLUME 38 NUMBER 6 JUNE 1997 Fig. 1989) for a liquid in equilibrium with Fo89 olivine (maximum in Los Azules picrites). SDB13 (basalt). higher La/Y and Nb/Zr than the Los Azules lavas. 5) and incompatible trace element ratio plots (Fig. b. whereas the diorite is slightly higher at +8·3. moderately depleted in the LREE [(La/Nd)pn 0·75–0·95].. TiO2 and Y vs MgO. 6). like the ´ ´ basalts of the Serranıa de Baudo. c. However. with the El Encenillo lavas having. Lavas from Los Azules are tholeiitic. for example. The rocks can be divided into two broad groups: the moderately incompatible trace element-enriched basalts and picrites from Los Azules and El Encenillo. Nb. (The oblong field represents the El Encenillo samples. 6). Nielsen. 7). 8a). ranging from moderately enriched (relative to proposed primitive mantle compositions) in incompatible trace elements to relatively depleted (Fig. Central Cordillera The igneous rocks of the Central Cordillera are the most compositionally diverse of the three cordilleras. the sample containing 16·6 wt % MgO. Three of the samples have ( 87Sr/86Sr)i in the range 0·7032–0·7033. The tholeiitic basalts and dolerites of the Amaime Formation and Yana area range in MgO content from 692 . This is also reflected in the steeper primitive mantle-normalized trace element patterns for the El Encenillo lavas (Fig. with essentially flat heavy REE (HREE) patterns [(Sm/ Yb)pn 1·0–1·1]. showing the compositions of the Cretaceous igneous rocks of the three cordilleras in Colombia. the two analysed lavas from El Encenillo are significantly more enriched in incompatible trace elements (at equivalent MgO content) than the lavas from Los Azules (Fig. ROM7 (picrite). may represent a potential primary magma for the Los Azules complex.

8). one of the most enriched Amaime basalts. ¸ ´ (1996a). Symbols are as in Fig. (c) Nb/Y vs La/Y [also shown in (c) are Cretaceous arc lavas from Bonaire Island in the southern Caribbean and Recent Colombian arc-derived lavas]. Curacao—Kerr et al. This problem can be addressed in two ways: (1) Mature subduction zone volcanic sequences are characterized by abundant explosion-derived tuffs and lavas of andesitic composition. Data sources: ´ Gorgona—Aitken & Echeverrıa (1984). In terms of ( Nd)i (i=120 Ma). 7. to +8·1 in YAN-8 (Fig. DISCUSSION Original tectonic setting and relative ages of the Colombian basalts Tectonic setting The chemical data presented can help to resolve the long-standing controversy regarding the tectonic setting of the Colombian mafic volcanic terranes. and although pyroclastic deposits do occur. the lavas span a comparatively wide range from +6·0 in AMA8. (1997). whether they represent a subduction zone environment. Iceland and the Ontong Java plateau: (a) (Sm/Yb)pn vs (La/ Nd)pn. Two of the basalts from the Amaime Formation (AMA8 and -11) are relatively enriched in incompatible trace element contents and ratios (Figs 5. This enrichment seems only to affect Nb contents. 1984). as seen in recent Colombian subduction-related volcanoes (Marriner & Millward. (1993). 7). The most trace element depleted Amaime basalt (AMA12) has an ( Nd)i of +7·7. ( 87Sr/86Sr)i appears be decoupled from ( Nd)i. 1979). which possess higher Nb/Zr ratios than the rest of the Amaime and Yana basalts (Fig. Kerr et al. Iceland—Hemond et al. namely. Ontong Java—Mahoney et al. 693 . ¸ Curacao. Recent Colombian lavas—Marriner & Millward (1984). CRETACEOUS COLOMBIAN BASALTS exception to this is a group of basalts from the more southerly parts of the Amaime Formation (AMA3–6 and FLO1–4). but most lie in the range 0·7032–0·7035. 6 and 7). 6). (1996b). (b) Ti/Zr vs Nb/Zr. apart from those which have been separately denoted. 5·0 to 10·3 wt % (Fig. 5). Bonaire—G. Incompatible element ratio plots displaying the Cretaceous Colombian igneous rocks along with fields for lavas from Gorgona. whereas one basalt (AMA12) has been found which possesses more depleted levels of incompatible trace elements (Figs 5. However. the field for Cretaceous Colombian lavas in (c) is taken from Nivia (1987). As with the basalts of the Western Cordillera. the Cretaceous volcanic terranes are predominantly basaltic. (1993). as ratios not involving Nb (e. An interesting Fig. they are relatively rare and are mostly basaltic in composition. Arndt et al. Ti/Zr) are the same as for the rest of the basalts. 4. ocean floor or oceanic plateau. and their incompatible trace element ratios are similar to those from the Western Cordillera ´ ´ and from Serranıa de Baudo (Fig. with several of the basalts having ( 87Sr/ 86 Sr)i>0·7043.KERR et al. 6 and 7). Klaver (unpublished data. Most of the lavas possess relatively flat primitive mantle-normalized trace element patterns (Fig.g. 7).

(a) ( Nd)i vs ( 87Sr/86Sr)i.JOURNAL OF PETROLOGY VOLUME 38 NUMBER 6 JUNE 1997 Fig. 7. except those separately marked. i denotes initial age corrected values. (b) ( 143Nd/144Nd)i vs (Sm/Yb)pn. (1993). 4. (c) ( 143Nd/144Nd)i vs 147Sm/144Nd. (1988). Galapagos—White et al. all other data sources ´ are as for Fig. 8 . Data sources: Haiti—Sen et al. 694 . Symbols are as in Fig.

. plateau basalt (Pearce & Pearson. Timing of volcanism The volcanism associated with the Colombian portion of the Caribbean oceanic plateau appears to be of three distinct ages: two well-dated events ( 40Ar/39Ar.. at Site 1001 (40 km WSW of Site 152). Additionally. 1984) and Cretaceous subduction-related lavas from Bonaire in the southern Caribbean (G. and the close similarity in isotopic and trace element ratios between these Curacao lavas and the ¸ Colombian basalts and picrites (Figs 7 and 8) supports an origin within the Caribbean oceanic plateau. Finally. which will be explored in a later section. 5 shows. Other fragments of Early Cretaceous oceanic plateau material have been reported from elsewhere in the Caribbean region. appears to have peaks of volcanic activity at about 120 and 90 Ma (Mahoney et al. The westernmost Caribbean site drilled during DSDP Leg 15. 1993). whereas it is possible that the earlier (>100 Ma) oceanic plateau forming event in the Caribbean– Colombian province is linked with the same plume as that which produced the 90 and 75 Ma events. 1996b).y. unpublished data. Recent Ocean Drilling Program (ODP) drilling in the Caribbean during Leg 165. Repeated leaching of powders from several of these samples failed to significantly reduce the high 87Sr/86Sr more than just a single leaching. ¸ using 40Ar/39Ar step-heating. in the Duarte Complex of Hispaniola (Lapierre et al. plus another eruptive episode older than 100 Ma. more evidence for the younger plateau eruptive event within the Caribbean region (possibly contemporaneous with the ´ ´ formation of the Serranıa de Baudo rocks) is also beginning to accumulate. 1994). 1996).. Sinton. the most enigmatic feature of the chemistry of these lavas is their tendency to high ( 87Sr/86Sr)i values relative to ( Nd)i (Fig. (Bercovici & Mahoney. Similarly. which do not appear to correlate with any other chemical parameter. where ´ ´ the westernmost basalts (Serranıa de Baudo) are the youngest (72–78 Ma). However. the predominance of basalts with relatively flat primitive normalized trace element patterns. Therefore. so it is the westernmost drilled holes in the Caribbean Sea that have also produced the youngest (Campanian) ages. encountered Middle Campanian limestone mixed with clay and basaltic ash–lapilli overlying. It is interesting to note that. both field and geochemical evidence militate strongly against a subduction-related origin for the Cretaceous Colombian volcanic terranes. Within the Caribbean–Colombian Cretaceous igneous province these high 87Sr/86Sr values are not 695 . there are other similarities in both chemistry and tectonic setting between the Caribbean–Colombian and Icelandic basalts. 1979). Petrogenetic aspects The high 87Sr/86Sr puzzle Arguably. there is a greater chemical variability within the Colombian lavas. 1993) possess similar trace element and isotopic ratios to most of the basalts and picrites from Colombia. perhaps a more suitable analogue for the Caribbean–Colombian Cretaceous oceanic plateau—which appears to have been volcanically active over ~40 Ma—is the long-lived volcanism associated with the Icelandic plume.. these Cretaceous volcanic rocks do not possess the characteristic Nb depletion (with corresponding LREE enrichment). and possible explanations for this will be discussed in a later section. as in Colombia. 1994). one of Late Cenomanian– Turonian (88–92 Ma) and another of Late Campanian– Early Maastrichtian (72–78 Ma). rather than in normal ocean floor. fossils from intercalated sediments). Figure 7c confirms that the Cretaceous Colombian basalts and picrites have consistently higher Nb/La ratios (relative to Y) than both Recent Colombian volcanic arc rocks (Marriner & Millward. The Ontong Java plateau. which reveal that lavas drilled from the Ontong Java plateau (Mahoney et al.. This is further supported by Figs 7 and 8. Site 152 (Fig. These observations support a younger episode of Caribbean–Colombian plateau volcanism mostly in the west of the province. separated by between 20 and 90 m. Klaver.KERR et al. 1973). which results in a negative Nb anomaly on multi-element normalized plots of subduction-related lavas. like the Caribbean–Colombian oceanic plateau. a dolerite sill intruding the upper part of the Curacao lava succession has recently been dated. 1997) and Cuba (Iturralde-Vinent. and the not uncommon occurrence of lavas with more picritic compositions. CRETACEOUS COLOMBIAN BASALTS (2) As Fig. Interestingly. for example. unpublished data. at 75·8±1·9 Ma (C. Thus the presence of Campanian limestone intimately associated with the uppermost volcanics at both these sites places a maximum age of 83 Ma on the underlying basalt. 1996). because many of the world’s plumerelated LIPs display at least two distinct periods of major eruptive eruptions. consistent with eastward movement of the plate(s) above a stationary ´ plume (possibly Galapagos). we caution that there is no way of discounting the possibility that the earlier event was linked to an entirely different plume. and grading down into. 8a). The Caribbean–Colombian oceanic plateau is not unique in this regard. However. are more consistent with an origin in plumederived oceanic plateau. 1) encountered basalt with the chemical characteristics of an oceanic plateau which contained fragments of Campanian (83–74 Ma) limestone (Donnelly et al. Moreover. The ~90 Ma basalts and picrites from Curacao are part ¸ of the Caribbean–Colombian oceanic plateau (Kerr et al.

and so may represent the lower-crustal levels of the 87–92 Ma phase of Caribbean–Colombian oceanic plateau. (1997) to distinguish incompatible element-depleted. ´ ´ higher-MgO basalts from the Serranıa de Baudo (SDB13. These mafic and ultramafic cumulates may be akin to the high seismic velocity layers found at the base of the crust in the Ontong Java plateau.JOURNAL OF PETROLOGY VOLUME 38 NUMBER 6 JUNE 1997 unique. personal communication. to be followed by Fe–Ti oxide at <5 wt % MgO. The relatively widespread occurrence of 87–92 Ma high-MgO lavas (picrites and komatiites) throughout the Caribbean– Colombian province (Kerr et al. Not surprisingly. the first phase to crystallize in all three models is olivine (±Cr-spinel). In light of these field observations. 6) show that. We have used three different starting magma compositions: a picrite (CUR7) containing 20% MgO from Curacao ¸ (Fig. given a starting magma composition.g. The last leaching ex¸ periments support the view that these high 87Sr/86Sr values are magmatic in origin and are not caused by sub-solidus hydrothermal alteration (Kerr et al. 1996). 6. then. Kerr et al. 3b). and one of the more depleted. most Ontong Java plateau basalts) must represent a relatively recent enrichment. 9a elegantly reinforces this point.. The chemistry of these rocks reveals that they are genetically related to the basalts of their respective cordillera (A. plume-derived Icelandic 696 . but display a similar range in MgO content (Mahoney et al. The results (Fig. 7a) obviously reflects the depleted nature of their source regions. a slightly more enriched picrite (ROM7) from Los Azules (16·6% MgO). 1987. seems to have fractionated minor apatite (as evidenced by the negative phosphorus anomaly in Fig. Accordingly. Basalts from the Ontong Java plateau not only have similar trace element ratios to the Cretaceous Colombian basalts. The range of (La/Nd)pn (Ζ1) found in the majority of the Colombian basalts (Fig. and Fig. The composition of the diorite (CBU13) from the Western Cordillera appears to be modelled fairly well by the TRACE3 program. plagioclase and clinopyroxene join the fractionating assemblage. when 8–9 wt % MgO is reached. it should be noted that the marked positive Nb–Ta spike in Fig. this wide range in incompatible trace element contents at a given MgO (Fig. 10·1 wt % MgO). the positive Nd values mean that all the lavas have been derived from a mantle source region with a long-term depletion in the LREE. (1996) recently proposed that high seismic velocities near Moho levels within the Ontong Java plateau represent crystal cumulates (chiefly olivine) from the largescale fractionation of primary picritic magmas to produce the erupted basalts. Hemond et al. plagioclase. More than 80% fractionation from a picritic parent is required to reproduce the composition of this diorite. 1997) also implies that high-MgO melts were produced by a large proportion of the proposed plume head. the three different ‘parental magmas’ could fractionate to produce the incompatible trace element compositions of most of the Cretaceous Colombian basalts. 1996) and basalts from Curacao (Kerr et al.. 1996b). probably during the melting process. 1984). 6) reflects variable degrees of partial mantle melting and/or a heterogeneous mantle source region. This diagram was originally used by Fitton et al. Farnetani et al. As will be discussed in the following section. Although some lavas are more enriched in incompatible trace elements compared with others. between them. and they have been found in well-leached komatiites and picrites from Gorgona Island (Aitken & ´ Echeverrıa. clinopyroxene and Fe–Ti oxide. Nivia. 1993). Mantle sources and melting The variations in Nd isotope and incompatible trace element ratios (Figs 7 and 8) unequivocally demonstrate that the plume source region of the Cretaceous Colombian basalts was heterogeneous. Additionally. 1993). The Cretaceous igneous association in both the Western and Central Cordilleras is in part composed of mafic and ultramafic cumulates (Spadea et al. The residual magma compositions obtained from this modelling are presented in Fig. 3b militates strongly against an arc-derived origin for this intrusion. Hauff. However. (1996b) proposed that the high 87 Sr/86Sr values could result from assimilation of altered oceanic crust.. a process which has also been proposed to account for the moderately elevated 87Sr/86Sr values ´ in Icelandic lavas (e.. Fractional crystallization Although the vast majority of rocks from the three volcanic terranes are basaltic in composition. this depletion in incompatible trace elements is subtly different in character from that observed in present-day East Pacific Rise mid-ocean ridge basalt (MORB). 5) of some of the Colombian basalts (and for that matter. 1996b). 1996). we have attempted to reproduce the composition of the Colombian basalts using the TRACE3 computer program of Nielsen (1988).. calculates mineral and residual magma compositions during fractional crystallization. some of the basalts are too enriched or too depleted in incompatible trace elements to be fractionates of any of the three magma starting compositions. which. Thus both the enriched and chondritic LREE patterns (Fig. Kerr et al.. It is likely that the Cretaceous Colombian basalts were mostly derived from more picritic melts which ponded and fractionated deep within the plateau to produce the ultramafic cumulates and lower-MgO basaltic liquids. C. which in addition to olivine. Thus it is not unreasonable to consider that the Colombian basalts are derived from more picritic parental magmas. basalts from Nicoya in Costa Rica (F. Nevertheless.. unpublished data. these may not be primary mantle melts. 1).

Numbered ticks on the melting curves indicate percentage of partial melting (see text for more details). mostly within the garnet lherzolite field. when fractional crystallization has been accounted for. An LREE-depleted mantle source composition was used in the modelling of pooled fractional melting. This suggestion is reinforced by the fact that the Colombian–Caribbean Cretaceous high-MgO lavas are. strongly implying derivation from a plume source region. 1996a. showing the compositions of the Cretaceous Colombian igneous rocks. 6). Thus. 1994). basalts from North Atlantic MORB. (1997)]. Numbered ticks on the lowermost trajectory indicate the composition of the residual liquid after 50 and 70% crystallization from a picritic parent. and fields for East Pacific Rise MORB and the Ontong Java plateau (Mahoney et al. 9a.. melting seems to have occurred over a rather wide depth range (polybaric melting) from relatively deep.KERR et al. along with fractional crystallization trends that show a slight increase in Nb/Y ratios as the magmas fractionate. Virtually all the Colombian basalts fall within the Icelandic tramlines. as well as fractionation. our new data from Colombia are plotted along with the ‘tramlines’ of Fitton et al. (a) Log plot of Nb/Y vs Zr/Y [after Fitton et al. Thus. 8b and c). it can be inferred that many of the Colombian basalts result from fairly extensive degrees (~20%) of partial mantle melting. Even the most depleted Colombian rocks (SDB13 and AMA12) do not appear to originate from a depleted upper-mantle (MORB-source) region. In modelling the mantle melting processes several factors need to be considered: (1) The plume source region was isotopically heterogeneous. mineral proportions and partition coefficients are from McKenzie & O’Nions (1991)]. a difficulty which is compounded by the possibility of mixing melts derived from both the garnet and spinel lherzolite stability fields. to shallower melting of spinel lherzolite. (1997) (between which all the plumederived Icelandic lavas plot). 9b. but may have been trapped and fractionated from picritic melts in magma chambers en route to the surface. c). whereas East Pacific Rise MORBs [from Mahoney et al.. the entrapment of picritic liquids in magma chambers will also serve to homogenize individual heterogeneous melt fractions. as a group. In Fig. they seem to be derived from a depleted (relative to Bulk Earth) source region within the plume. a spinel lherzolite and a 50:50 mixture of these two mineralogies—to simulate melting in the garnet–spinel transition zone [source compositions. CRETACEOUS COLOMBIAN BASALTS Fig. implying that they are derived from a more enriched source region. Figure 9b shows that basalts with Nb/Y>0·2 probably had a melt input from a mantle source region containing some garnet. spinel lherzolite (Sp lz) and a 50:50 spinel–garnet mixture (Sp–Gnt lz). The results of the mantle melt modelling are presented in Fig. The negative correlation between ( 143Nd/144Nd)i and (Sm/Yb)pn displayed by the samples from the Western and Central Cordilleras reveals that 697 . significantly more heterogeneous than their associated basalts (Kerr et al. Three different mineral assemblages were used—a garnet lherzolite. However. rather. (2) The Colombian basalts are not primary melts from the mantle. 1993. although many of the Cretaceous basalts in Colombia (and in other oceanic plateaux) are relatively homogeneous. These more incompatible element-enriched basalts also generally have lower ( 143Nd/144Nd)i values (Fig. As Fig. 9b shows. this could just reflect mixing of compositionally distinct magmas derived from a heterogeneous plume source region by variable degrees of melting. However. at 20% melting the differences in incompatible trace element contents and ratios between the three mantle mineral assemblages are significantly less than at smaller degrees of melting. Near-horizontal arrows represent several possible fractional crystallization trajectories (based on the modelling shown in Fig. or contain a higher proportion of enriched component. comprising at least two components which both appear to have a long-term history of depletion. or that they were derived from a more depleted source than that used in the melt modelling. with one component being slightly more enriched (lower Nd) than the other. It thus becomes more difficult to assess the approximate depth of melting of the erupted lavas. Lavas from the neovolcanic zones of Iceland fall between the two parallel lines. (1994)] plot below this field. (b) Nb/Y vs Zr with modelled partial fractional melting curves for a garnet lherzolite (Gnt lz). 9.

698 . It has been suggested by Hall (1995) that these anomalies may have resulted from an Early Cretaceous phase of seafloor spreading at the Farallon– Pacific–Phoenix triple junction. G.. Nevertheless. These models have proposed that most mantle plumes are heterogeneous and consist predominantly of a relatively refractory depleted matrix component. The data in Fig. F. with a small proportion (p10%) of more enriched and more fusible streaks or blobs. the basic similarity between the Icelandic and Colombian lavas adds further weight to the supposition that the Caribbean–Colombian oceanic plateau formed at. picrites and basalts on Gorgona are not only an integral part of the Caribbean–Colombian Cretaceous oceanic plateau (Storey et al. further away from the spreading centre (see Hards et al. which may represent the present-day expression of the plume responsible for the Caribbean– Colombian oceanic plateau.. as well as both the Galapagos and Icelandic plumes having a long history of activity. predominantly derived from the spinel lherzolite field. the Icelandic lavas possess slightly higher ( Nd)i. has occurred. Saunders. (1995) and Arndt et al. particularly Ontong Java. Marriner & A. it also seems that the two plumes may have been situated below a mid-ocean ridge for a considerable part of their histories. ´ Thus. so for a large proportion of its ´ history the Galapagos plume may have impinged on the base of the lithosphere at. This source heterogeneity and negative correlation between the degree of enrichment and depth of melting support the recent models of Kerr et al. 1995). It is interesting to note that the Ga´ lapagos plume. an oceanic spreading centre. that ´ the ridge moved northwards away from the Galapagos hotspot (Hay. or perhaps more likely within crustal or lithospheric magma chambers en route to the surface. 1991. ´ 1996a) from Gorgona. linear NE–SW and east–west long-wavelength magnetic anomalies have been discovered over the Venezuelan and Colombian Basins (Fig. 1977). 1996a) but can be correlated with. and are also a southward ´ continuation of. 8 and 9). 1996). 1996a) for the Gorgona lavas and ´ ´ intrusives. (1993)] span a very similar range to the Cretaceous Colombian lavas and intrusives reported in this paper (Figs 7. then it appears to have become more depleted with time.. Thus deeper. with larger degree (~20%) LREE-depleted melts. It is therefore a constructive exercise to amplify the initial studies of Nivia (1987) and compare the chemistry of the Caribbean–Colombian oceanic plateau with that of lavas produced by the Icelandic plume. compared with the Serranıa de Baudo (72–78 Ma) appear to rule out the idea that the basalts of the ´ ´ Serranıa de Baudo are a continuation of the sequence found on Gorgona. at or near which the Caribbean–Colombian Oceanic Plateau formed in the Late Cretaceous.. D.JOURNAL OF PETROLOGY VOLUME 38 NUMBER 6 JUNE 1997 the more enriched melts are derived from deeper source region and vice versa. the occurrence of a plume track on both the Cocos and Nazca Plates suggests that it was only within the last 5 m. In terms of trace element and radiogenic ratios. As well as becoming younger towards the west. 1987).y. for example. whereas at shallower depths. or close to. is currently situated close to ´ the Galapagos Spreading Centre. A key issue is whether the sequence of late Cretaceous komatiites. the basaltic sequence of the Serranıa ´ de Baudo (McGeary & Ben-Avraham.. for the Western Cordillera ´ ´ +7·8 and for the Serranıa de Baudo +8·3. 8b and c show that. 1986). A feature worth stressing is that many of the Colombian basalts. Like presentday Iceland. However. Indeed. the older ages (86–88 Ma. 1) in the Caribbean (Hall. have near-chondritic ratios of incompatible trace elements. in that the three more enriched basalts (from the ´ ´ southernmost exposure of the Serranıa de Baudo) are very similar to the most enriched e-basalts (Kerr et al. unpublished data. Thus if one single plume is responsible for the volcanism in the Caribbean–Colombian oceanic plateau. the younger lavas drilled by DSDP Leg 15 at Site 152 are similarly the most elementally and isotopically depleted lavas sampled during Leg 15 (Kerr et al. The new chemical data presented above support this latter proposal. Such mixing of different degree melts could occur either in the mantle plume source region. the more enriched lavas in the Caribbean– Cretaceous oceanic plateau could have been produced by smaller degrees of melting below thicker lithosphere.. at a given incompatible trace element ratio. the lavas and intrusives of the three cordilleras also generally become more depleted. or near an oceanic spreading centre. In addition to this. extents of mantle melting will preferentially sample these more enriched streaks. 1997. Is the Caribbean Plateau an Icelandic analogue? Recently. whereas the rest of the Serranıa ´ de Baudo samples possess incompatible trace element ratios which are within the range displayed by the rest of the Gorgona basalts. more extensive melting means that a greater proportion of the magma produced will be derived from the more depleted matrix. Kerr et al. and has the potential to produce magmas with near-chondritic incompatible trace element ratios but with positive Nd values. One possible explanation for this paradox may be that mixing of small degree (<2%) relatively LREE-enriched melts (with Nd>0) from the garnet lherzolite stability field. possess positive Nd values but paradoxically.. and therefore smaller. the average Nd for the Central Cordillera is +7·2. (1997). This problem has become known as the ‘plateau paradox’ (Babbs et al. Kerr et al. and indeed basalts from many other oceanic plateaux. the Icelandic lavas [from ´ Hemond et al.

it is nevertheless important to assess the tectonic significance of the subduction-related Early Cretaceous Quebradagrande Complex and the Eocene Dabeiba Volcanic Arc. the ´ ´ Serranıa de Baudo. Tectonophysics 223. J. V. along with the Eocene arc lavas and pyroclastics of the Macuchi Formation in Ecuador.. Importantly. and to the Leverhulme Trust for a fellowship to A. and Marion Weber for her help with Spanish spelling. Arndt. Czamanske. E. CONCLUSIONS (1) The accreted Cretaceous basaltic and picritic terranes found in western Colombia appear to have formed part of an oceanic plateau linked to a mantle plume. L. 94–105. Petrology and geochemistry ´ of komatiites and tholeiites from Gorgona Island. Wooden. neither depleted plume component can be attributed to entrainment of depleted upper asthenospheric (MORB-source) mantle. These terranes represent the southern portion of the large late-Cretaceous Caribbean oceanic plateau. 1984. We also thank INGEOMINAS for invaluable logistic support in Colombia.. 1997. The obduction of the 75–90 Ma ´ lavas and intrusives of the Cordillera and the Serranıa de ´ Baudo appears to have occurred in the Late Cretaceous to Early Tertiary (Kerr et al.KERR et al. Both components display time integrated depletion (positive Nd). the Western Cordillera rocks are ~90 Ma old. N. Ray MacDonald.. and both appear to have been an integral REFERENCES Aitken. the more depleted basalts found in Colombia could represent the equivalent of those depleted Icelandic picrites and basalts which are produced by more extensive shallower melting close to the ridge. Contributions to Mineralogy and Petrology 86. 1978. p. they may have fractionated from more picritic parental magmas.D.. mixing of magmas generated at different depths possibly in Moho-level magma chambers during fractionation will also result in mixing. Earth and Planetary Science Letters 146. The westernmost accreted belt. A. & Echeverrıa. T. CRETACEOUS COLOMBIAN BASALTS 1995)... & Fedorenko.. However. 39–52. 1997). Rather. more 40 Ar/39Ar step heating work on other possible obduction´ ´ related pegmatite veins intruding the Bolıvar–Rıo Frio ultramafic complex is currently under way. along with more extensive melting in the spinel lherzolite stability field. The radiometric age constraints imposed by the Buga batholith mean that the Early Cretaceous Amaime Formation must have been obducted onto the Colombian margin before 100 Ma. (4) Three distinct ages of volcanic activity can be identified in the Colombian portion of the Caribbean– Colombian oceanic plateau (and also in the Caribbean part of the province). K. which was obducted and imbricated against the western margin of the northern South American continent. L. If this is the case. is the youngest at 73–78 Ma. B. ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS We are grateful to the Natural Environmental Research Council (UK) for supporting this work through Grants GR9/583A and GR3/8984 to J. The geochemical signatures of the igneous rocks of the three cordilleras also become more depleted from east to west. Kerr. G. However. Henriette Lapierre and Christian Coulon are thanked for their constructive reviews of the manuscript. M. J. It is possible that the volcanics of the Dabeiba arc were formed during the obduction of the 75–90 Ma portion of the Caribbean– Colombian oceanic plateau onto the Colombian continental margin. G. Mantle and crustal contributions to continental flood basalt volcanism. & Gonzalez. whereas the volcanic sequence of the easternmost Central Cordillera is Early Cretaceous in age. Colombia. N. 289–301. (3) Fractional melt modelling using a depleted mantle source composition suggests that most of the Western Colombian lavas require a small melt input from a mantle source region containing garnet as a residual phase.K. C. The significance of Early Tertiary and Early Cretaceous arc volcanism in Colombia Although not considered in detail in this paper. 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