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Title End Paleozoic-Early Mesozoic western Pangean reconstruction and its implications for the distribution of Precambrian and Paleozoic rocks around Meso-America
Authors David Rowley & James Pindell
Source Precambrian Research, 1989, 42, 411-444
Abstract We present a detailed, palinspastically restored reconstruction of the circum-Central Atlantic continents and incorporate information on the distribution, age and correlation of Precambrian and Paleozoic rocks. The Late Paleozoic Appalachian-Ouachita Suture marks a fundamental break which separates Gondwanan from North American basement and pre-Late-Paleozoic assemblages. The westward continuation of the suture across Mexico continues to be problematic, primarily because of the scarcity of pre-Late-Paleozoic rocks. Biogeographic affinities of some Lower Paleozoic assemblages provide some constraints; for example, the North American affinities of the Ordovician and Silurian of Cuidad Victoria versus the Gondwanan affinities of Tremadocian rocks of Oaxaca. The ultramafic rocks within the Mixteca Terrane of southern Mexico may represent the only surface exposure of this suture, the northward strike projection of these exposures to the Coahuila region are compatible with the biogeographical constraints. Some confusion has resulted from geochronologic determinations of Grenville ages from Oaxaca, the Chuacus metamorphics of Yucatan, and the Rio Cana Complex of Cuba; such ages have led to suggestions that these assemblages were derived from North America. We suggest that they are instead part of the Rondonian/Sunsas Orogenic Belt of western Brazil and Ecuador, and that, if this is true, the Rondonian/Sunsas Belt would have represented the areally most extensive basement age province of the Amazon Shield. The Late Paleozoic suture coincidentally juxtaposes basement age provinces of similar age, and therefore basement ages appear to be undiagnostic of the paleogeographic affinities of different elements. In addition, we show the geometric correlation of the Senegal Block, west of the Late Precambrian Pan-African Mauritanide Suture, with the Brunswick magnetic terrane of offshore eastern North America. Other correlations, many of which have been previously recognized, are also highlighted.
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