Publication Details

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Title: U‐Pb zircon chronostratigraphy of early‐Pliocene ignimbrites from La Pacana, North Chile: implications for the formation of stratified magma chambers
Authors: A.K. Schmitt, J.M. Lindsay, S.L. de Silva, and R.B. Trumbull
Publication: Jour. Volcanol. Geotherm. Res., v. 120, p. 43‐53.
Publish Date: Jan 2002
DOI: 10.1016/S0377-0273(02)00359-1
PDF: pdf
BibTEX Citation: Schmitt:2002.bib


High spatial resolution U‐Pb dates of zircons from two consanguineous ignimbrites of contrasting composition, the high‐silica rhyolitic Toconao and the overlying dacitic Atana ignimbrites, erupted from La Pacana caldera, north Chile, are presented in this study. Zircons from Atana and Toconao pumice clasts yield apparent 238U/206Pb ages of 4.11±0.20 Ma and 4.65±0.13 Ma (2σ), respectively. These data combined with previously published geochemical and stratigraphic data, reveal that the two ignimbrites were erupted from a stratified magma chamber. The Atana zircon U‐Pb ages closely agree with the eruption age of Atana previously determined by K‐Ar dating (⁓4.0±0.1 Ma) and do not support long (>1 Ma) residence times. Xenocrystic zircons were found only in the Toconao bulk ignimbrite, which were probably entrained during eruption and transport. Apparent 238U/206Pb zircon ages of ⁓13 Ma in these xenocrysts provide the first evidence that the onset of felsic magmatism within the Altiplano‐Puna ignimbrite province occurred approximately 3 Myr earlier than previously documented.