Implications of Latest Pennsylvanian to Middle Permian Paleontological and U-Pb SHRIMP Data from the Tecomate Formation to Re-dating Tectonothermal Events in the Acatlán Complex, Southern Mexico Academic Article uri icon


  • Limestones in the highly deformed Tecomate Formation, uppermost unit of the Acatlán Complex, are latest Pennsylvanian—earliest Middle Permian in age rather than Devonian, the latter based on less diagnostic fossils. Conodont collections from two marble horizons now constrain its age to range from latest Pennsylvanian to latest Early Permian or early Middle Permian. The older collection contains Gondolella sp., Neostreptognathodus sp., and Streptognathodus sp., suggesting an oldest age limit close to the Pennsylvanian—Permian time boundary. The other collection contains Sweetognathus subsymmetricus, a short-lived species ranging only from Kungurian (latest Leonardian) to Wordian (earliest Guadelupian: 272 ± 4 to 264 ± 2 Ma). A fusilinid, Parafusulina c.f. P. antimonioensis Dunbar, in a third Tecomate marble horizon is probably Wordian (early Guadelupian, early Middle Permian). Furthermore, granite pebbles in a Tecomate conglomerate have yielded ~320-264 Ma U-Pb SHRIMP ages probably derived from the ~288 Ma, arc-related Totoltepec pluton. Collectively, these data suggest a correlation with two nearby units: (1) the Missourian—Leonardian carbonate horizons separated by a Wolfcampian(?) conglomerate in the upper part of the less deformed San Salvador Patlanoaya Formation; and (2) the clastic, Westphalian—Leonardian Matzitzi Formation. This requires that deformation in the Tecomate Formation be of Early—Middle Permian age rather than Devonian. These three formations are re-interpreted as periarc deposits with deformation related to oblique subduction. The revised dating of the Tecomate Formation is consistent with new data, which indicates that the unconformity between the Tecomate and the Piaxtla Group is mid-Carboniferous and corresponds to a tectonothermal event. © 2004 Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.

author list (cited authors)

  • Keppie, J. D., Sandberg, C. A., Miller, B. V., Sánchez-Zavala, J. L., Nance, R. D., & Poole, F. G.

citation count

  • 43

publication date

  • August 2004