Early Cambrian alkaline volcanism on the southern margin of Laurentia: evidence in the volcaniclastic units from the Puerto Blanco Formation in the Caborca block, NW Mexico

<p>Volcaniclastic units are exposed at the base of the Puerto Blanco Formation in the Caborca region, northwestern Mexico. The lower unit reveals the presence of Early Cambrian mafic volcanism in this region. It consists of a volcano-sedimentary sequence represented by tuffaceous conglomerates, agglomerates, lapillistones, tuffs, and altered mafic volcanic flows. Petrographic analysis classified the volcanic clasts as albite-sphene-calcite-actinolite granofels, with a moderate to intense hydrothermal alteration, precisely characterized by EPMA analysis. Albite-actinolite geothermometry indicates temperatures from 400 to 500°C, suggesting metamorphic conditions in the upper temperature greenschist facies. Geochemistry analysis shows a high TiO<sub>2</sub> basic–ultrabasic volcanism that originated the volcanic clasts. Rock protoliths were studied using immobile trace elements, which classified them as OIB-type alkaline basalts with the characteristic spider hump-shaped pattern, situated in an anorogenic intracontinental tectonic setting with enriched mantle signatures. <sup>40</sup>Ar/<sup>39</sup>Ar geochronology shows metamorphic ages of 52.58 ± 2.0 and 91.67 ± 0.55 Ma, consistent with the emplacement of Laramidic granitoids identified in the region. Possible correlations of this alkaline volcanism include the Southern Oklahoma Aulacogen and the late stages of the rifting of north western Laurentia represented in western United States.</p>