Contributions to Mineralogy and Petrology

, Volume 166, Issue 3, pp 801–824 | Cite as

The age and composition of the pre-Cenozoic basement of the Jalisco Block: implications for and relation to the Guerrero composite terrane

  • Victor A. Valencia
  • Kevin Righter
  • Jose Rosas-Elguera
  • Margarita López-Martínez
  • Marty Grove
Original Paper


The Jalisco Block is thought to be part of the Guerrero terrane, but the nature and age of the underlying crystalline basement are largely unknown. We have collected a suite of schists, granitoids, and weakly metamorphosed marine sediments from various parts of the Jalisco Block including Atenguillo and Ameca, Mascota and San Sebastián, Cuale, Puerto Vallarta, Punta Mita, Yelapa, and Tomatlán. The schists range in age from 135 to 161 Ma, with many exhibiting Proterozoic and Phanerozoic zircon ages. The granitoids range in age from 65 to 90 Ma, and are calc-alkaline compositionally—similar to granitoids from the Puerto Vallarta and Los Cabos batholiths. The Jalisco granitoids also experienced similar uplift rates to granitoids from the regions to the north and south of the Jalisco Block. The marine sediments yield a maximum depositional age of 131 Ma, and also contain a significant zircon population with ages extending back to the Archean. Granitoids from this study define two age groups, even after the effects of thermal resetting and different closure temperatures are considered. The 66.8-Ma silicic ash flow tuff near Union de Tula significantly expands the extent of this Cretaceous–Paleocene age ash flow tuff unit within the Jalisco Block, and we propose calling the unit “Carmichael silicic ash flow tuff volcanic succession” in honor of Ian Carmichael. The ages of the basement schists in the Jalisco Block fully overlap with the ages of terranes of continental Mexico, and other parts of the Guerrero terrane in the south, confirming the autochthonous origin of the Jalisco Block rather than exotic arc or allochthonous origin. Geologic data, in combination with geochronologic and oxygen isotopic data, suggest the evolution of SW Mexico with an early 200–1,200-Ma passive margin, followed by steep subduction in a continental arc setting at 160–165 Ma, then shallower subduction by 135 Ma, and finally, emplacement of granitoids at 65–90 Ma.


Guerrero terrane Jalisco Block Granite Quartzofeldspathic schist Mexican arc 



I.S.E. Carmichael had a huge influence on KR and among other things got him thinking about basement lithologies in Jalisco while undertaking graduate studies at UC Berkeley in 1990–1994. Initial funding for this project was provided by the University of Arizona Small Grants Program from the office of the Vice President for Research. This initial help was instrumental in getting this project supported in the way required to carry out a comprehensive study. The study was supported by CONACyT Ciencia Basica (CB-2009-01—00131191) and NSF International Programs (INT0420380); for the latter, we thank H. Stolberg for his assistance, as well as L. Lane (Univ. of Arizona), D. Cranford (LPI), and D. Devin (USRA) for their assistance with financial issues. G. Gehrels and J. Vervoort are thanked for being supportive of finalizing this study. M. A. García García and A.S. Rosas Montoya helped with the Ar–Ar experiments. Paul Wallace provided petrographic microscope images of LV-250 that are in the online resource. The journal reviews of L. Ferrari, F. Ortega-Gutierrez, and P. Schaaf were extremely helpful and much appreciated. This is LPI Contribution No. 1734.

Supplementary material

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Supplementary material 1 (PDF 6222 kb)
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Supplementary material 2 (PDF 104 kb)
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Supplementary material 3 (PDF 519 kb)
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Supplementary material 4 (PDF 721 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag (outside the USA) 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Victor A. Valencia
    • 1
  • Kevin Righter
    • 2
    • 7
  • Jose Rosas-Elguera
    • 3
    • 4
  • Margarita López-Martínez
    • 5
  • Marty Grove
    • 6
  1. 1.School of EnvironmentWashington State UniversityPullmanUSA
  2. 2.NASA Johnson Space Center, Mailcode KTHoustonUSA
  3. 3.Laboratorio Interinstitucional de Magnetismo NaturalUniversidad de GuadalajaraGuadalajaraMexico
  4. 4.Centro Universitario de los VallesUniversidad de GuadalajaraAmecaMexico
  5. 5.Depto. de GeologíaCICESEEnsenadaMexico
  6. 6.Geological and Environmental SciencesStanford UniversityStanfordUSA
  7. 7.Lunar and Planetary InstituteHoustonUSA

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