Lithogeochemistry of the meta-igneous units from Arroio Grande Ophiolitic Complex, southernmost Brazil
Ophiolites are defined as slices of genetically-related upper mantle serpentinized peridotites and oceanic crustal rocks, tectonically displaced from its primary igneous origin of formation by plate convergence and associated (meta) sedimentary rocks of marine origin. From this premise, a meta-ultramafic-mafic-sedimentary complex (Cr-rich magnesian schists - upper mantle or crustal ultramafic cumulate candidates; epidote amphibolites, metadiorites and metagabbros - oceanic crust candidates; metasedimentary schists, quartzites and marbles - marine sedimentary rocks candidates), located in southeastern Dom Feliciano Belt (southernmost Brazil), started to be interpreted as possible slices of an ophiolitic complex related to the closure of a paleo-ocean during Brasiliano/Pan-African orogenic cycle and was called Arroio Grande Ophiolitic Complex. The present research fills the lack of geochemical data from previous studies and tests the hypothesis of an oceanic setting for the meta-igneous units of this complex from a lithogeochemistry point of view. The meta-ultramafics were interpreted as peridotites (mantle or crustal cumulates) that were subsequently serpentinized (probably in the ocean floor) and posteriorly metasomatized (probably in a continental setting). The meta-mafics were interpreted as oceanic gabbros/basalts formed in a back-arc basin. The results, together with field relationships, rock associations and petrographic evidences, support an oceanic origin for the protoliths of the meta-igneous units. The hypothesis that these rocks represent metamorphosed slices of an ophiolitic complex is still the most reasonable one. This work updates the geologic knowledge of the area and supports discussions about the evolution of Dom Feliciano Belt and Western Gondwana paleocontinent.