New insights on the occurrence of peperites and sedimentary deposits within the silicic volcanic sequences of the Paraná Magmatic Province, Brazil
The PMP (Paraná Magmatic Province) is characterized by lava flows of the Early Cretaceous Serra Geral Formation which covers about 75% of the Paraná Basin (southern and southeastern Brazil), composed of a thick (up to 1600 m) volcanic sequence formed by a succession of petrographically and geochemically distinct units of basic and silicic composition. The whole package must have been emplaced during approximately 3 million years of nearly uninterrupted activity. A few aeolian sandstone layers, indicating arid environmental conditions (the Botucatu Formation), are interlayered in the lower basalts. Above the basalts, the Palmas and Chapecó Members are composed of silicic volcanic rocks (quartz latites, dacites, rhyodacites and rhyolites) and basalts. This paper presents new evidence of sedimentation episodes separating silicic volcanic events, expressed by the occurrence of sedimentary deposits. Interaction between the volcanic bodies and the coeval unconsolidated sediments formed peperites. The sediments were observed between basaltic lava flows and silicic rocks or interlayered in the Palmas-type rocks, between the Chapecó-type rocks and overlying basaltic flows, between silicic bodies of the Palmas and Chapecó types, and interlayered within Palmas-type units. The observed structures indicate that the sediments were still wet and unconsolidated, or weakly consolidated, at the time of volcanism, which, coupled with the sediment features, reflect environmental conditions that are different from those characterizing the Botucatu arid conditions.