The Ushuaia Hornblendite (Tierra del Fuego): petrography, geochemistry and geochronology

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Rogelio D. Acevedo
Enrique Linares
Héctor Ostera
María L. Valín-Alberdi


Petrographic descriptions and geochemical and geochronological data are given for the so-called Ushuaia Hornblendite, a complex of mesocratic and melanocratic hydrated rocks that crops out in the vicinity of the city of Ushuaia, Tierra del Fuego. The complex consists mainly of hornblendites and hornblendite-piroxenites, diorites, gabbros, syenites and monzodiorites. The mineralogy of the most representative specimen shows that it is composed of hornblende and diopside as essential minerals, with biotite and potassic feldspar as minor constituents, and sphene, apatite, and opaque minerals (mainly magnetite, ilmenite, pyrite and chalcopyrite) as accessories. Alteration processes include albitization, epidotization, chloritization and carbonatization, that represent substantial chemical changes that would affect any chemical classification of the rocks. Nevertheless, it is considered that the parental magma was of calc-alkaline Andean Type, related to the Andean Batholith, produced during regional subduction, and not in any way to an ophiolitic sequence. The calc-alkaline geochemistry is attributed to partial melting. In fact, the magma did not derive from primary mantle melts but came from evolved and contaminated mantle fluids that ascended toward crustal levels, thus favouring an assimilation process, in a magmatic arc setting. Potassium-argon whole-rock dating of one hornblendite sample gave an age of 113 ± 5 Ma

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Acevedo, R. D., Linares, E., Ostera, H., & Valín-Alberdi, M. L. . (2002). The Ushuaia Hornblendite (Tierra del Fuego): petrography, geochemistry and geochronology. Revista De La Asociación Geológica Argentina, 57(2), 133-142. Retrieved from