Time resolved construction of a bimodal laccolith (Torres del Paine, Patagonia)

Julien Leuthold

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

118 Citations (Scopus)


Granitic and mafic magma pulses were sequentially accreted in the spectacularly exposed shallow crustal Torres del Paine laccolith, in southern Patagonia. This 12.5 Ma pluton forms a composite intrusion with a subvertical feeding system in the west and a laccolith in the east. A key unknown in the formation of sill complexes is how individual magma pulses are assembled over time and the geometry and localization of their feeding system. High resolution zircon CA-ID-TIMS U–Pb dating shows that the laccolith grew first by under-accretion of granitic sills over 90±30 ka, linked to a ‘sheet-like’ feeding system, followed by underplating of mafic sills after ~20 ka of quiescence. In the mafic sills complex, individual sills were injected by over-accretion during 41±11 ka. Our data show that successive granitic and mafic magmas emplacement generated a volume of ~88 km3 in 162±11 ka.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)85-92
JournalEarth and Planetary Science Letters
Publication statusPublished - 2012


  • Laccolith growth
  • sill accretion
  • U-Pb zircon geochronology
  • Patagonian Andes


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