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Using Stochastic Point Pattern Analysis to Track Regional Orientations of Magmatism During the Transition to Cenozoic Extension and Rio Grande Rifting, Southern Rocky Mountains

Published inTectonics, vol. 43, no. 2, p. 1-26; e2023TC007902
Publication date2024-02-07
First online date2024-02-07
Abstract

The southern Rocky Mountains in Colorado and northern New Mexico hosted intracontinental magmatism that developed during a tectonic transition from shortening (Laramide orogeny, ca. 75 to 40 Ma) through extension and rifting. We present a novel approach that uses stochastic weighted bootstrap simulations of a large set of new and historical geochronology data to better understand how regional anisotropies responsible for focusing magma emplacement evolved through time. This technique can detect subtle trends in directional distributions, including multi‐modal orientations, and can be filtered from regional to local scales. Our results indicate that magmatism followed first the northeast trend of the Colorado mineral belt between 75 and 40 Ma and deviated afterward. These deviations vary depending on the scale of the analysis. At the smallest scale we evaluated (<75 km), the orientation of magmatism from 45 to 30 Ma rotated counter‐clockwise before aligning with the north‐south trend of the modern Rio Grande rift. Larger, regional‐scale analyses indicate magma centers between 40 to 35 Ma and 25 to 20 Ma were dominantly oriented southwest‐northeast, whereas magmatism between 35 and 25 Ma had north‐south orientation. The large areal footprint of magmatism and shifting regional patterns suggest that ancient zones of weakness in the North American lithosphere accommodated magma flow at different moments in time, rather than controlled by a retreating interface of the Farallon and North American plates.

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Citation (ISO format)
ROSERA, Joshua M. et al. Using Stochastic Point Pattern Analysis to Track Regional Orientations of Magmatism During the Transition to Cenozoic Extension and Rio Grande Rifting, Southern Rocky Mountains. In: Tectonics, 2024, vol. 43, n° 2, p. 1–26. doi: 10.1029/2023TC007902
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ISSN of the journal0278-7407
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