Sie sind auf Seite 1von 12

Geomorphology 233 (2015) 5263

Contents lists available at ScienceDirect

Geomorphology
journal homepage: www.elsevier.com/locate/geomorph

Combined 40Ar/39Ar and (UTh)/He geochronological constraints on


long-term landscape evolution of the Second Paran Plateau and its
ruiniform surface features, Paran, Brazil
Silvana B. Riffel a,, Paulo M. Vasconcelos b, Isabela O. Carmo c, Kenneth A. Farley d
a

School of Earth Sciences, The University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia


School of Earth Sciences, The University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia
c
PETROBRAS/CENPES/PDGEO/GEOTEC, Rio de Janeiro, RJ, Brazil
d
California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA, USA
b

a r t i c l e

i n f o

Article history:
Received 17 January 2014
Received in revised form 15 October 2014
Accepted 23 October 2014
Available online 18 December 2014
Keywords:
Weathering geochronology
40
Ar/39Ar
(UTh)/He
Landscape evolution
Paran

a b s t r a c t
Regional correlation of dated weathered land surfaces provides the necessary constraints to test long-term continental landscape evolution models, but major challenges remain in properly dating these surfaces. The geomorphological province of Second Paran Plateau, Paran State, Brazil, is a high elevation (ca. 800 m) land surface
characterized by widely distributed deep saprolites and scattered lateritic proles (e.g., Vila Velha and Serra das
Almas). Prolonged exposure to weathering and erosion has promoted the pseudo-karstic and ruiniform features
that are characteristic of this landscape. In this study, 40Ar/39Ar laser incremental heating geochronology on 22
grains of supergene Mn oxyhydroxides from lateritic proles at Vila Velha yielded results ranging from
17.2 0.7 to 9.1 0.7 Ma. (UTh)/He geochronology on 28 goethite grains from the same prole yielded
results ranging from 36.4 3.6 to 1.0 0.1 Ma, with an age cluster lying within the 17.2 0.7 to 7.9 0.8 Ma
interval. (UTh)/He geochronology on 17 goethite grains from the Serra das Almas lateritic prole, located
20 km from Vila Velha, yield results ranging from 35.1 3.5 to 14.1 1.4 Ma. The combined results for the two
sites reveal a common weathering history that started ca. 35 Ma, suggesting that the Second Paran Plateau results
from regional uvial incision and denudation before ~35 Ma, followed by a decline in denudation rates and proportionally more intense weathering. Consistent with the laterite prole central ages, weathering was particularly
intense during the Miocene (178 Ma). Denudation intensied after the Pliocene.
2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

1. Introduction
Long-term landscape evolution in stable cratonic regions often produces regionally extensive erosion surfaces. These surfaces become
deeply weathered during tectonically quiescent periods when conducive climates prevail. Dating and correlating these land surfaces at
local and regional scales allow major periods of incision and denudation
to be identied and cratonic landscape chronologies to be pieced
together (Vasconcelos and Conroy, 2003; Beauvais and Chardon, 2013).
These periods of continental erosion can be independently compared
to the rate of supply of sediments into adjacent basins.
A topographic prole across the state of Paran, Brazil, reveals a
regional morphology typical of rifted continental margins, where a

Corresponding author at: Av. Bento Gonalves, 9500, Instituto de Geocincias,


Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul, Porto Alegre, RS, Brazil, CEP: 91501-970.
Tel.: +55 41 9614 6414.
E-mail addresses: sillbr@gmail.com (S.B. Riffel), paulo@earth.uq.edu.au
(P.M. Vasconcelos), icarmo@petrobas.com.br (I.O. Carmo), farley@gps.caltech.edu
(K.A. Farley).

http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.geomorph.2014.10.041
0169-555X/ 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

narrow, low-elevation coastal plain is separated from the elevated continental interior by a steep, high-relief scarp. Five physiographic provinces have been locally recognized: the coastal plain, the Serra do Mar
mountain range, and the First, Second and Third Paran plateaus
(Fig. 1a) (Maack, 1947). The relatively at interior land surfaces in the
hinterland show strong lithological control: Upper Cretaceous sediments and basalts underlie the Third Paran Plateau; Paleozoic sediments provide the substrate for the Second Paran Plateau; and the
First Paran Plateau displays outcrops of unconsolidated and poorly
consolidated sediments from the Miocene Curitiba Sedimentary Basin,
and Proterozoic igneous and metamorphic rocks (Fig. 1a).
Apatite ssion-track (AFT) (Gallagher et al., 1994, 1995) and apatite
(UTh)/He (AHe) thermochronology (Cogn et al., 2011) of the southeastern Brazilian Atlantic Margin reveal an overall trend of older AFT
and AHe ages in the interior and progressively younger ages towards
the coast. Thermochronological modelling has revealed a history of continuous denudation after a signicant pulse of post-rift uplift (Gallagher
et al., 1995; Cogn et al., 2011) and alkaline and peralkaline magmatism
(Thompson et al., 1998; Riccomini et al., 2005; Gomes et al., 2011;
Velzquez et al., 2011) between ~ 90 and 60 Ma. The regional cooling

S.B. Riffel et al. / Geomorphology 233 (2015) 5263

53

(a)
r
ve

Santos
basin

Ri

Tibagi River

n
ra
Pa

Iva River

MS
Pi

PARA
GUAY

qu

iri

SP

Third Paran
Plateau (3PP)

Ri

ve
r

Second Paran
Plateau (2PP)

er
Riv
eira

Mountain Range
and Coastal Plain

2000

Rib

Vila Velha
Serra das Almas

1600

r
ve

Igua
u R
iver

First Paran
Plateau (1PP)

Santos
Basin

ARGENTINA

1200

Ri

a
gu

800
400

SC

Elevation (m)
0

200 (Km)
2PP

Elevation (m)

Vila Velha
Serra das Almas

1200
1000

v v v

v
v v v v
Mesozoic basalts

Mesozoic
sediments

x x- v v
- - -- - v
------- -- ------- - -- - -- - - -- -- -------- v
- - - - - - - - -- - v v
v v v - - -- - - - -- - -- - -- - - - - - - -- - - - ---------- v

600
200

1PP

r
Ma e
do Rang
rra
Se untain
o
M

v v

Paleozoic sediments

Proterozoic basement

+
+
+
+
+
++
++ +
++ +
+ ++
++
++
++ +
+ +
+ ++
++
++
+ ++
+ +
+ +
+
++
++
+ ++
+ ++
+

Miocene
sediments
Proterozoic
granites

(b)

Fig. 1. Location maps. (a) Digital elevation model and an EW topographic cross-section (SRTM 3 data: USGS, 2004) illustrate the three major geomorphological units recognized across
Paran state (First, Second and Third Paran plateaus), and their major lithological associations. (b) Simplied geological map (after Melo and Giannini, 2007) showing the distribution of
the basal units of the Paran sedimentary basin (Itarar Group and Furnas Formation) and the sites sampled (Vila Velha and Serra das Almas) for this study.

event, probably driven by denudation, that followed the uplift and


magmatic pulses is recorded by the inux of siliciclastic sediments
delivered to the Santos Basin (Moreira et al., 2007). AFT (Gallagher

et al., 1994, 1995) and AHe thermochronology (Cogn et al., 2011) have
also suggested a possible Neogene cooling/denudation event along the
southern Brazilian margin. Thermochronological studies are useful in

54

S.B. Riffel et al. / Geomorphology 233 (2015) 5263

Vila Velha, on the Second Paran Plateau, intense ferruginization


and pseudo-karstic landscape development suggest a long period
of weathering and surface exposure. Nearby, at a topographically
higher position on the margins of the Second Paran Plateau (Serra
das Almas), a lateritic prole developed on sandstone belonging to
the Furnas Formation constitutes the second study site (Soares
et al., 2002) and also provides evidence that this landsurface has
had a protracted history of exposure to weathering. Various ages
have been suggested for this planation episode: Eocene (Japi surface,
Almeida, 1976), Eocene to Oligocene (Soares and Landim, 1976),
Cretaceous to Eocene (Pd3, Purun surface: Ab'Saber and Bigarella,
1961), and Cretaceous to Paleogene (Riccomini et al., 2005). We
illustrate here that the use of weathering geochronology by the
40
Ar/39Ar and (UTh)/He methods introduces new insights the age
of this surface.

identifying major cooling events, which are typically interpreted as


crustal denudation, but they are often not sufciently sensitive for
explaining the origin of individual land surfaces when elevation differences between the landscape features of interest (Fig. 1a) are too small
(b500 m) to be detected with AFT or even AHe thermochronology.
Here we offer an alternative approach based on determining the ages
of weathering proles in order to estimate the minimum age of the
Second Paran Plateau, a regional land surface characterized by pseudokarstic and ruiniform landscapes.
1.1. Geomorphology of Second Paran Plateau
During the Cenozoic, extensive lateritization purportedly occurred
at low latitudes in Brazil (King, 1956), but vestiges of this weathered
land surface are poorly preserved south of the Tropic of Capricorn. At

(a)

Vila Velha plateau

a3

Vila Velha

a1 (close to the museum)


Quebra Perna River
(a2)

(a1)

(a3)

cpl
goe

1 cm

10 cm

Serra das Almas

(b)

b1

a2 (NE fractures nearby)

250 cm

b3

(b1)

(b2)

(b3)

Colluvium

Ferricrete
b2

goe

Mottled zone
30 cm

5 cm

Sansdstone
Saprolite

Fig. 2. Sampling localities. Lateritic weathering proles were sampled at Vila Velha (a) and at Serra das Almas (b) sites. Vila Velha Park consists of unique landforms resulting from the
erosion of intensely ferruginized sandstone (a1). Samples of manganese and iron oxyhydroxides were sampled along fractures (a2) in sandstones at the base of the Boot landform
(a3) and on the top of the Vila Velha plateau. At Serra das Almas (elevation: ~1080 m, b), a lateritic prole developed on Furnas Formation rocks are exposed (b1) and iron oxyhydroxides
from the mottled zone and ferruginous duricrust were sampled for (UTh)/He analysis (b2). The laterite prole grades laterally to a colluvium horizon enriched in iron concretions (b3).
These were not sampled and dated in this study.

S.B. Riffel et al. / Geomorphology 233 (2015) 5263

55

Table 1
Context of mineral samples collected from two weathering proles in Paran State, Brazil.
Run ID#

Sample

Latitude

Longitude

Elevation

(S, WGS84)

(W, WGS84)

(m)

Vila Velha
6586-01
6586-02
6595-01
6595-02
6597-01
6597-02
6598-01
6598-02
6599-01
6599-02
6600-01
6600-02
6601-01
6601-02
6602-01

PR 0933 bota
PR 0933 bota
PR 0933C-1
PR 0933C-1
PR 0933C-2
PR 0933C-2
PR 0933C-3
PR 0933C-3
PR 0933C-4
PR 0933C-4
PR 0933G fract1
PR 0933G fract1
PR 0933G fract3
PR 0933G fract3
PR 0933E-1

251507.86
251507.86
251508
251508
251508
251508
251508
251508
251508
251508
251509
251509
251509
251509
251508

495956.03
495956.03
495952
495952
495952
495952
495952
495952
495952
495952
495952
495952
495952
495952
495952

908
908
918
918
918
918
918
918
918
918
911
911
911
911
918

6602-02

PR 0933E-1

251508

495952

918

6603-01
6603-02
6610-01
6610-02
6622-01
6622-02
09MNK
09MNL
09MOP
09MOQ
09MPB
09MPC
09MPD
09MPE
09MPF
09MPG
09MRC
09MRD
09MSH
09MSJ
09MSK
09MSL
09MSM
09MSN
09MSO
09MSP
09MSQ
09MSR
09MSS
09MST
09MSU
09MSV
09MSW
09MSX

PR 0933E-3
PR 0933E-3
PR 0933G fract2
PR 0933G fract2
PR 0716C
PR 0716C
PR 0933I
PR 0933I
PR 0933D
PR 0933D
PR 0933G2
PR 0933G2
PR 0933G_fract_base
PR 0933G_fract_base
PR 0933G_fract_top
PR 0933G_fract_top
PR 0933G_B
PR 0933G_B
PR 0933G fract
PR 0933E-3
PR 0933E-3
PR 0933A
PR 0933A
PR 0933 bota
PR 0933 bota
PR 0933A
PR 0933B1
PR 0933B1
PR 0933B1A
PR 0933B1A
PR 0933 bota
PR 0933 bota
PR 0933H
PR 0933H

251508
251508
251509
251509
251510
251510
251509.21
251509.21
251454.68
251454.68
251509.13
251509.13
251509.13
251509.13
251509.13
251509.13
251509.13
251509.13
251509.13
251508.28
251508.28
251508.12
251508.12
251507.86
251507.86
251508.12
251507.20
251507.20
251507.20
251507.20
251507.86
251507.86
251507.95
251507.95

495952
495952
495952
495952
500009
500009
500002.92
500002.92
495924.90
495924.90
495952.13
495952.13
495952.13
495952.13
495952.13
495952.13
495952.13
495952.13
495952.13
495951.77
495951.77
495955.57
495955.57
495956.03
495956.03
495955.57
500002.44
500002.44
500002.44
500002.44
495956.03
495956.03
495954.96
495954.96

918
918
911
911
920
920
921
921
927
927
911
911
911
911
911
911
911
911
911
918
918
910
910
908
908
910
900
900
900
900
908
908
918
918

251622
251622
251622
251622
251622
251622
251622
251622
251622
251622
251622
251622
251622
251622
25.2727778

495038
495038
495038
495038
495038
495038
495038
495038
495038
495038
495038
495038
495038
495038
49.8439722

1082
1082
1082
1082
1082
1082
1082
1082
1082
1082
1082
1082
1082
1082
1082

Serra das Almas


09IIP
PR 0717
09IIR
PR 0717
09IJP
PR 0717
09IJQ
PR 0717
09IJU
PR 0717
09IKM
PR 0717
09MNG
PR 0717int
09MNH
PR 0717int
09MNI
PR 0717int2
09MNJ
PR 0717int2
09MOV
PR 0717int
09MOW
PR 0717int
09MPH
PR 0717-z.mosq
09MPI
PR 0717-z.mosq
09MPU
PR 0604

Mineral dated

Depth

Weathering stage

cryptomelane
cryptomelane
cryptomelane
cryptomelane
cryptomelane
cryptomelane
cryptomelane
cryptomelane
cryptomelane
cryptomelane
cryptomelane
cryptomelane
cryptomelane
cryptomelane
low-K cryptomelane with high porosity
and mixed phases with goethite
low-K cryptomelane with high porosity
and mixed phases with goethite
low-K cryptomelane
low-K cryptomelane
hollandite
hollandite
cryptomelane
cryptomelane
goethite
goethite
goethite
goethite
goethite
goethite
goethite
goethite
goethite
goethite
goethite
goethite
goethite
goethite
goethite
goethite
goethite
goethite
goethite
goethite
goethite
goethite
goethite
goethite
goethite
goethite
goethite
goethite

surface
surface
surface
surface
surface
surface
surface
surface
surface
surface
surface
surface
surface
surface
surface

fracture in saprolite
fracture in saprolite
fracture in saprolite
fracture in saprolite
fracture in saprolite
fracture in saprolite
fracture in saprolite
fracture in saprolite
fracture in saprolite
fracture in saprolite
fracture in saprolite
fracture in saprolite
fracture in saprolite
fracture in saprolite
fracture in saprolite

surface

fracture in saprolite

surface
surface
surface
surface
surface
surface
surface
surface
surface
surface
surface
surface
surface
surface
surface
surface
surface
surface
surface
surface
surface
surface
surface
surface
surface
surface
surface
surface
surface
surface
surface
surface
surface
surface

fracture in saprolite
fracture in saprolite
fracture in saprolite
fracture in saprolite
saprock
saprock
top of the saprock
top of the saprock
top of the saprock
top of the saprock
fracture in saprolite
fracture in saprolite
fracture in saprolite
fracture in saprolite
fracture in saprolite
fracture in saprolite
fracture in saprolite
fracture in saprolite
fracture in saprolite
fracture in saprolite
fracture in saprolite
fracture in saprolite
fracture in saprolite
fracture in saprolite
fracture in saprolite
fracture in saprolite
fracture in saprolite
fracture in saprolite
fracture in saprolite
fracture in saprolite
fracture in saprolite
fracture in saprolite
saprock
saprock

goethite
goethite
goethite
goethite
goethite
goethite
goethite
goethite
goethite
goethite
goethite
goethite
goethite
goethite
goethite

~1 m
~1 m
~1 m
~1 m
~1 m
~1 m
~1 m
~1 m
~1 m
~1 m
~1 m
~1 m
~1 m
~1 m
~1 m

ferricrete
ferricrete
ferricrete
ferricrete
ferricrete
ferricrete
ferricrete
ferricrete
ferricrete
ferricrete
ferricrete
ferricrete
ferricrete
ferricrete
ferricrete

56

S.B. Riffel et al. / Geomorphology 233 (2015) 5263

Field investigations carried out for this study reveal that lateritic
weathering proles are only preserved on the high-elevation areas situated at the southern and eastern boundaries of the Second Paran
Plateau (Fig. 1b), at elevations exceeding 9001000 m. The more deeply
dissected areas at the northern and western boundaries of the Second
Paran Plateau host only soils, shallow saprolite, or detrital clay deposits
resting directly on relatively unweathered bedrock, suggesting that any
deeply weathered mantle that may have existed in this area has been
eroded. Therefore, we focused our geochronological efforts on sites
containing residual lateritic proles and most likely to contain the
oldest supergene mineral assemblages.

possibly, by aeolian processes. This has produced the ruiniform features


(e.g., the Cup, the Boot, the Castle) collectively known as Vila Velha. Dissolution and possibly wind erosion created small sinks and basins
(pans) at the surface of the weathered and friable sandstone, where
loose goethite- and hematite-cemented concretions abound.
Massive and visually pure Mn and Fe oxyhydroxides were collected
from vertical fractures near the Boot landform (Fig. 2a3). We also sampled goethite concretions from two dissolution pans at the top of the
Vila Velha plateau. Nineteen distinct hand specimens were collected at
Vila Velha, from which 22 Mn oxyhydroxides and 28 goethite grains
were dated (Table 1).

2. Methods and analytical techniques

2.3. Sampling at Serra das Almas

2.1. Sampling criteria

At Serra das Almas (~1080 m a.s.l., Fig. 2b), a lateritic prole formed
on Paran Group strata (Furnas Formation) is exposed in a road-metal
quarry. The prole consists of an in situ ferricrete at the surface, underlain by a 2 to 5 m-thick mottled zone that overlies a saprolite level of
unknown thickness (Fig. 2b1, b2). Laterally, this ferricrete grades into
a loosely cemented ferruginous colluvium, apparently the result of
local dismantling of the duricrust (Fig. 2b3). Within the ferricrete
and the mottled zone, iron oxyhydroxides containing crystalline
and visually pure goethite cements were sampled. Five different hand
specimens were collected and fteen distinct goethite/hematite grains
were dated from this site (Table 1).

In searching for samples suitable for geochronology, we conducted a


eld survey where we visited sites previously reported to contain Mn
and Fe crusts, particularly around the Vila Velha Park (Melo et al.,
1999) and Serra das Almas (Soares et al., 2002). We also explored the
region for relict landscape features that could potentially host stratied
weathering proles rich in duricrusts and ferruginized material.
2.2. Sampling at Vila Velha
At Vila Velha (~ 910 m a.s.l., Fig. 2a), we sampled a lateritic prole
formed on Itarar Group sandstones. Ferruginization is intense near
the surface, where the strongly leached sandstone is cemented by
goethite (Fig. 2a1). The weathered unit is cross-cut by NESW fractures
along which ferruginization is more intense. At some places, fractures
contain both Mn and Fe oxyhydroxide cementing the sandstone and/
or lling fractures (Fig. 2a2). After Mn and Fe oxyhydroxide cementation, the partially weathered and more friable sandstones were preferentially eroded along fractures, forming isolated sandstone blocks
which became carved into various spectacular shapes by runoff and,

2.4. Petrography and mineralogy


The petrography and mineralogy of samples composed of pure Mn
and Fe oxyhydroxides were screened in the process of selecting candidates best suited to geochronological analysis. Sample inspection provided information on mineral paragenesis, homogeneity, crystallinity and
textureall useful parameters for interpreting the ensuing geochronological data. Mineral characterization involved optical microscopy, scanning electron microscopy (SEM) with energy dispersive system (EDS),

Table 2
Summary of 40Ar/39Ar results from the Vila Velha weathering prole.
Run ID#

Sample

88#, 105#

Vila Velha
6586-01
6586-02
6595-01
6595-02
6597-01
6597-02
6598-01
6598-02
6599-01
6599-02
6602-01
6602-02
6603-01
6603-02
6600-01
6600-02
6610-01
6610-02
6601-01
6601-02
6622-01
6622-02

PR0933bota
PR0933bota
PR0933C-1
PR0933C-1
PR0933C-2
PR0933C-2
PR0933C-3
PR0933C-3
PR0933C-4
PR0933C-4
PR0933E-1
PR0933E-1
PR0933E-3
PR0933E-3
PR0933G fract1
PR0933G fract1
PR0933G fract2
PR0933G fract2
PR0933G fract3
PR0933G fract3
PR0716C
PR0716C

Plateau

Error

Integrated

Error

Isochron

Error

Intercept

Error

Age

Age

Age

40

(Ma)

(Ma)

(Ma)

(Ma)

(Ma)

(Ma)

(Ma)

17.2
16.6
16.0
16.1
16.0
16.3
16.5
16.1
16.2
16.1

20.9*
16.1*
16.3

15.9
15.9
9.1
9.5

0.2
0.2
0.2
0.2
0.9
0.3
0.3
0.2
0.1
0.2

0.6
0.7
0.2

0.2
0.2
0.7
0.9

23.0
17.9
16.1
16.0
17.0
16.2
17.8
16.2
16.6
15.6
143.0
94.6
70.0
30.3
16.8
17.4
78.0
270.0
15.5
15.4
17.0
21.0

2.0
1.4
0.8
0.9
3.0
0.8
1.0
0.7
0.6
0.7
8.0
2.6
4.0
1.1
1.3
1.4
10.0
60.0
1.2
0.9
4.0
4.0

17.2

0.1

301.2

1.2

16.1

0.1

298.3

1.5

16.1

0.1

300.5

1.2

16.2

0.1

302.4

1.5

16.2

0.1

296.1

1.5

91.0

9.0

15000.0

800.0

21.1

0.2

303.0

2.0

16.4

0.1

302.0

1.8

10.4

0.5

300.9

1.9

16.1

0.1

294.7

1.3

8.0

0.4

306.3

1.8

* = forced plateau ages, as described in the text. See Appendix A2 for complete results.

Accept

yes
yes
yes
yes
yes
yes
yes
yes
yes
yes
no
no
no
yes
yes
yes
no
no
yes
yes
yes
yes

Ar/36Ar

(Ma)

S.B. Riffel et al. / Geomorphology 233 (2015) 5263

57

Fig. 3. Petrographic and SEM details of dated and undated samples. A photomicrograph illustrates representative pure and crystalline colloform manganese oxyhydroxide samples dated
from the Vila Velha site (a). In rare cases, (b) manganese oxyhydroxides contain small mineral inclusions, particularly kaolinite and mica. This results in unreliable 40Ar/39Ar age results.
Pure goethite grains, as illustrated in the SEM image were the primary phases dated by (UTh)/He geochronology (c). In some cases, more than one generation of goethite could be identied in some Vila Velha samples, one pre-dating and one post-dating manganese oxyhydroxides and the different generations were sampled and dated separately (d). cpl =
cryptomelane; kln = kaolinite; phyl = phyllosilicate/ goe = goethite; qtz = quartz; 1st = rst generation; 2nd = second generation.

(a) 14
12
10

Ba (wt.%)

back-scattered electron images (BSE), electron microprobe analyses


(EMPA), and X-ray diffractometry (XRD). The morphology, composition,
and textures of the Mn and Fe oxyhydroxides were investigated using a
Philips XLS 30 SEM equipped with an EDAX-EDS. A JEOL JXA-8200 electron microprobe with wavelength-dispersive spectrometers (WDS),
operated at 15 kV, with a 15 nA current and a 1 m beam diameter
was used while applying ZAF correction for quantifying mineral stoichiometry. Standards used for each element analyzed by EMPA and the full
data are provided in Appendix A1.

8
6
4
2
0

2.5. 40Ar/39Ar analyses

K (wt.%)

(b)

5
4

K/Ba

The instrumentation and analytical procedures used in this study


are described by Vasconcelos (1999a) and Vasconcelos et al. (2002).
Manganese oxyhydroxide grains were loaded in irradiation disks
together with a Fish-Canyon sanidine neutron uence monitor (age
28.201 0.046 Ma: Kuiper et al., 2008), wrapped in Al foil, vacuumsealed into quartz vials and irradiated for 14 h in the Cadmium-lined
B-1 CLICIT facility (a TRIGA-type reactor) at Oregon State University,
USA. Six months after irradiation, 22 grains from 11 samples were analyzed by laser incremental heating (Table 2 and Appendix A2) at the
UQ-AGES laboratory, University of Queensland, Australia. For age calculation we used 5.543 1010 a1 as the total decay constant for 40K
(Steiger and Jger, 1977) and 298.56 0.31 for the 40Ar/36Ar atmospheric
ratio (Lee et al., 2006).
The shape of incremental heating spectra provides information on
the possible presence of contaminants or various generations of Mn
oxyhydroxides and the Ar retentivity for the samples (Vasconcelos,
1999a). Age plateaus were dened from the parts of the incremental-

3
2
1
0
48

50

52

54

56

58

60

Mn (wt.%)
Fig. 4. Electron microprobe analyses (n = 80) show the range in K and Ba contents for manganese oxyhydroxides from the Vila Velha site. The consistent presence of Ba in the
oxyhydroxides indicates that the oxyhydroxides should be argon-retentive (Vasconcelos,
1999a).

58

S.B. Riffel et al. / Geomorphology 233 (2015) 5263

heating spectra that formed at segments by taking the mean weighted


value by inverse variance of two or more contiguous steps, representing
more than 50% of the 39Ar gas released, and within 2 error from the
mean value as dened by Fleck et al. (1977) and modied by Vasconcelos
(1999b). Plateau ages were calculated as the standard error of the
weighted mean. Integrated ages were calculated by isotopic recombination of steps, and integrated age errors were calculated as the standard
error of the weighted mean. For incremental heating spectra that did
not dene a plateau according to the denition above, we calculated
forced plateau ages, also calculated as the standard error of the weighted
mean for reasonably at segments containing more than 50% of the total
39
Ar released, but whose individual steps do not fall within 2 error from
the mean value. Isotope correlation diagrams (39Ar/40Ar vs. 36Ar/40Ar)
yielded inverse isochron ages and provided information on the possible
presence of excess argon. Probability density plots (ideograms) were
used to illustrate the range of ages obtained for the samples and to
compare age distributions obtained from different minerals or sites
(Vasconcelos, 1999b). Most probable ages in the ideograms were calculated as the weighted mean and the standard error of all individual
step ages.

amount of radiogenic 40Ar and nucleogenic 39Ar resulted in large age


uncertainties.
Some of the Mn oxide veins also contained several generations of
botryoidal goethite, some pre-dating and some post-dating cryptomelane
(Fig. 3c). These provide an independent test on the reliability of the
geochronological results. Early generations of goethite often contain
inclusions of sandstone fragments or partially dissolved sand grains,
suggesting that goethite cementation occurred during dissolution,
collapse, and partial replacement of the host sedimentary units.
Thin bands of goethite post-dating cryptomelane precipitation
were also sampled for geochronology (Fig. 3c).
Goethite-cemented concretions sampled within the surface
solution pans at Vila Velha contain poorly crystalline goethite intimately intergrown with other minerals, and only impure quartzrich goethite grains were retrieved and dated from these samples
(Fig. 3c).
At Serra das Almas, two generations of goethite were identied
within the ferruginous duricrust: (1) an early generation of goethite
cementing the hosting sandstone (Fig. 3d) and (2) a late generation
of crystalline goethite precipitated in voids and cavities (Fig. 3d).

2.6. (UTh)/He analyses

3.2. 40Ar/39Ar results from Vila Velha manganese oxyhydroxides

Goethite grains from Vila Velha (n = 28) and Serra das Almas
(n = 17) were inserted into 1 mm Pt-capsules and analyzed at Caltech
(USA) following the analytical procedures described in Vasconcelos
et al. (2013). Samples analyzed in duplicate allow the reliability of the
results to be assessed. To account and correct for possible radiogenic
4
He loss (Shuster et al., 2005; Heim et al., 2006), we used the approach
proposed by Heim et al. (2006), in which between 0 and 20% 4He loss
is assumed. The measured ages are corrected by adding 10% to the raw
ages and adopting a 10% uncertainty in the nal result. The nal uncertainty is much greater than the analytical uncertainty, but it takes into
account the maximum He loss expected from goethite grains as determined from previous 4He/3He experiments (Shuster et al., 2005; Heim
et al., 2006).

Seventeen out of the 22 cryptomelane grains dated from the Vila


Velha site produced well-dened plateau ages (Fig. 5a-ab, Table 2).
Incremental heating spectra indicate an absence of signicant
amounts of 39Ar recoil or 40Ar* lossesdetected only in anomalously
old or young apparent ages in some of the low laser-energy steps
and probably reecting gases extracted from poorly crystalline
sites. This evidence suggests that plateau ages represent reliable
mineral precipitation ages (Vasconcelos, 1999b). Two of the hand
specimens (samples 6602 and 6610) only contain hollandite (with
less than 0.1 wt.% K). Another grain (6603) was discarded due to
the presence of contaminants, as indicated by ascending incremental
heating spectra (Fig. 5v) and conrmed by SEM observation on representative aliquots that indicated the presence of phyllosilicate inclusions (Fig. 3b).
Plateau, forced-plateau, integrated, and inverse isochron ages for 15
of the grains that yield reliable results are all compatible and cluster
around ~16 Ma (17.2 0.7 to 15.9 0.2 Ma, Fig. 6b). Duplicate grains
from one sample yield reproducible plateau ages of 9.5 0.9 and 9.1
0.7 Ma (Figs. 5z-ab and 6a-b). The presence of at least two distinct generations of Mn oxyhydroxides, as revealed from the geochronological
results, suggests several periods conducive to widespread mineral dissolution and reprecipitation at Vila Velha.

2.7. Estimating uvial incision through time


We estimated the volume of material removed to form the Second
Paran Plateau by calculating the volume below a reference elevation
assumed to dene a certain age based on our geochronological results.
This was achieved by using a digital elevation model (USGS, 2004)
and the GOCAD software.
3. Results
3.1. Petrology and mineralogy of the weathered samples

3.3. (UTh)/He results for iron oxyhydroxides from Vila Velha and Serra das
Almas

At Vila Velha, Mn and Fe oxyhydroxide veins are particularly abundant along fracture planes (Fig. 2a2). Manganese oxyhydroxides recovered from these veins are composed of mostly hollandite-group
minerals displaying typical colloform textures (Fig. 3). Growth bands
show alternating layers of K- and Ba-rich hollandite, suggesting periodic
changes in the composition of the weathering solutions. Electron microprobe results show an average composition of 2.6 wt.% K, 5.3 wt.%
Ba, and 55.4 wt.% Mn (n = 80) for cryptomelane, and 0.1 wt.% K,
11.7 wt.% Ba, and 52.7 wt.% Mn (n = 15) for hollandite (Appendix
A1). As expected (Vasconcelos and Conroy, 2003), Ba contents in
cryptomelane are inversely proportional to K and Mn contents
(Fig. 4). The joint presence of Ba (up to 6 wt.%) and K (14 wt.%)
(Fig. 4) in cryptomelane suggests that samples dated in this study are
highly retentive of Ar (Vasconcelos, 1999a), which is conrmed by the
shape of the incremental heating spectra. Unfortunately, some
hollandite grains contained 1012 wt.% Ba and only 0.010.14 wt.% K
and proved unsuitable for 40Ar/39Ar geochronology because the small

Twenty-eight grains extracted from 14 distinct hand samples


from Vila Velha yielded ages ranging from 36.4 3.6 to 1.0 0.1 Ma
(Table 3). Most (82.1 %) of the (UTh)/He results cluster in the range
of 19.1 1.9 to 7.9 0.8 Ma, ages entirely compatible with the
40
Ar/39 Ar results for Mn oxyhydroxides from the same site. One
grain (09MPF) yielded a much older result (36.4 3.6 Ma), which
would be considered an outlier if it were not for the fact that the
result matches goethite ages obtained for the nearby Serra das
Almas site perfectly.
Finally, four grains from the two samples of impure goethite
collected from the solution pans at Vila Velha yield much younger
results (ranging from 2.1 0.2 to 1.0 0.1 Ma) than the samples
obtained from the saprolite. The young results for the surface samples
are interpreted to record the recent dissolutionreprecipitation of
goethite by pedogenic processes in the near-surface environment,
similar to evidence documented by Monteiro et al. (2014) for cangas
(ironstone).

S.B. Riffel et al. / Geomorphology 233 (2015) 5263

59

0.01

17.2 0.2 Ma

MSWD = 1, P = 0.41, n = 14

0.0030

40

30

16.6 0.2 Ma

E F

36

0.0020
20

K
0.0010

10

Integrated Age = 23 2 Ma

Integrated Age = 17.9 1.4 Ma

(b) 6586-02

(a) 6586-01

(c) 6586

100

Age = 16.1 0.1 Ma

Ar/ 36Ar Int. = 298.3 1.5

30

0.01

16.0 0.2 Ma

MSWD = 1.5, P = 0.06, n = 25

16.1 0.2 Ma

36

0.0020
20

DE F

10

Integrated Age = 16.1 0.8 Ma

(d) 6595-01

J K

0.0010

Integrated Age = 16.0 0.9 Ma

(f) 6595

(e) 6595-02

0
0.0040
Age = 16.1 0.1 Ma
36
Ar/ Ar Int. = 300.5 1.2

40

0.01

16.0 0.9 Ma

16.3 0.3 Ma

36

0.0020
20

E
D
FG

K
J
H I
G
Integrated Age = 16.2 0.8 Ma
EF

10

Integrated Age = 17 3 Ma

(g) 6597-01

0.0010

(i) 6597

(h) 6597-02

100

30

0.01

16.5 0.3 Ma
20

10

0.0030

16.1 0.2 Ma
0.0020

36

E
F
D G

MSWD = 1.5, P = 0.11, n = 18

40

0.0040

Ar/ Ar

Age = 16.2 0.1 Ma


36
40
Ar/ Ar Int. = 302.4 1.5

K/Ca

%40Ar*

100

Apparent Age (Ma)

0.0030

40

30

MSWD = 1.5, P = 0.07, n = 23

Ar/ Ar

100

K/Ca

K L

Integrated Age = 17.8 1.0 Ma

F G
E
C
D

J K

0.0010

Integrated Age = 16.2 0.7 Ma

(j) 6598-01

(l) 6598

(k) 6598-02

0
0.0040

100
Age = 16.2 0.1 Ma
40
36
Ar/ Ar Int. = 296.1 1.5

100

30

0.01

EFGH
D
10

E H
FG

Integrated Age = 16.6 0.6 Ma

0.0010

(m) 6599-01
20

40

60

80

(o) 6599

(n) 6599-02

100 0

Cumulative %

L M

Integrated Age = 15.6 0.7 Ma

0
0

0.0020

16.1 0.2 Ma

39

0.0030

36

16.2 0.1 Ma

20

MSWD = 1.5, P = 0.06, n = 21

K/Ca

40

Apparent Age (Ma)

% 40 Ar*

100

% 40 Ar*

0.0030

40

100

Ar/ Ar

Apparent Age (Ma)

0
0.0040

40

K/Ca

% 40 Ar*

36

Ar/ Ar Int. = 301.2 1.2

Ar/ Ar

100

K/Ca

Apparent Age (Ma)

0.0040

Age = 17.2 0.1 Ma


40

Ar/ Ar

Apparent Age (Ma)

% 40 Ar*

100

20

Ar Released

40

60

80

100

0.30

0.10

39

0.50

0
0.60

40

Ar/ Ar

Fig. 5. 40Ar/39Ar incremental-heating spectra for manganese oxyhydroxides grains analyzed in duplicate (ab, de, etc.) and 39Ar/40Ar vs. 36Ar/40Ar isotope correlation diagrams (inverse
isochrons) for each pair of grains (right column). Results reveal that all but one grain yield reliable geochronological results.

60

S.B. Riffel et al. / Geomorphology 233 (2015) 5263

0.0040
Age = 16.4 0.1 Ma
Ar/ 36Ar Int. = 302.0 1.8
MSWD = 1.3, P = 0.17, n = 21

100

30

0.0030

0.01

40

16.3 0.2 Ma

16.1 0.7 Ma*


C

10

F G

0.0010

Integrated Age = 17.4 1.4 Ma

Integrated Age = 16.8 1.3 Ma

(p) 6600-01

(q) 6600-02

(r) 6600

100

30

0.01

0.0030

15.9 0.2 Ma

40

15.9 0.2 Ma

K/Ca

Age = 16.1 0.1 Ma


40Ar/ 36Ar Int. = 294.7 1.3
MSWD = 1.3, P = 0.13, n = 25

36

0.0020
20

GH
10

EF

DE

Integrated Age = 15.5 1.2 Ma

(s) 6601-01

0.0010

Integrated Age = 15.4 0.9 Ma

(u) 6601

(t) 6601-02

0.0040

Age = 21.1 0.2 Ma


Int. = 303 2
MSWD = 1.9, P = 0.08, n = 8

200

0.0030

0.01

0.0020

150

100

20.9 0.6 Ma*

0.0010

Integrated Age = 30.3 1.1 Ma

Integrated Age = 70 4 Ma

50

40

100

Ar/ Ar

K/Ca

40Ar/ 36Ar

(v) 6603-01

H I

(y) 6603

(w) 6603-02

100

0
0.0040

Age = 8.0 0.4 Ma


40Ar/ 36Ar Int. = 306.3 1.8
MSWD = 0.9, P = 0.56, n = 16

100

200

K/Ca

% 40 Ar*

36

Apparent Age (Ma)

% 40Ar*

100

0.0030

0.01

9.1 0.7 Ma

150

0.0020

9.5 0.9 Ma

36

Apparent Age (Ma)

0
0.0040

40

Apparent Age (Ma)

% 40Ar*

100

Ar/ Ar

36

0.0020
20

Ar/ Ar

K/Ca

40

Ar/ Ar

Apparent Age (Ma)

% 40Ar*

100

100
Integrated Age = 17 4 Ma

50

0.0010

Integrated Age = 21 4 Ma

(z) 6622-01
F

(aa) 6622-02

20

40

60

80

100 0

(ab) 6622

0
20

40

60

80

100

0.10

39

39

Cumulative % Ar Released

0.30
40

0.50

0
0.60

Ar/ Ar

Fig. 5. (continued).

Fifteen grains extracted from seven distinct hand samples from the
ferricretes and mottled zones at Serra das Almas yield ages ranging
from 35.1 3.5 to 14.1 1.4 Ma (Table 3). Goethites include several
grains with ages in the ~ 3527 Ma range (Fig. 6c), but also include
grains yielding younger results that are compatible with the Vila Velha
site (Fig. 6c).
Most samples from Vila Velha are rich in U (N4.8 ppm) and reveal
Th/U below 0.3, consistent with goethite precipitation in open cavities
directly from weathering solutions (Vasconcelos et al., 2013). Only
one grain (09MPF, 36.4 3.6 Ma) yields a higher Th/U value (2.2),
suggesting partial replacement of detrital phases. Th/U values for the
Serra das Almas goethite grains (all N0.9) suggest that goethite

precipitated by partial dissolution and replacement of primary minerals in the hosting sediments (quartz, clays, etc.) (Vasconcelos et al.,
2013; Monteiro et al., 2014).
3.4. Consistency between 40Ar/39Ar and (UTh)/He geochronology
Overall, the geochronological results obtained by the two independent methods are compatible. Direct comparison between 40Ar/39Ar
and (UTh)/He geochronology is difcult because cryptomelane and
goethite may not be cogenetic. The precision of the two methods is
also intrinsically different. Incremental heating 40Ar/39Ar analysis
permits extracting several apparent ages from a single grain, and if the

The geochronology results suggest that the deeply weathered


land surface that characterizes the southern and eastern portions
of the Second Paran Plateau has been exposed at least since ca.
35 Ma, and that the erosional processes responsible for shaping
that land surface preceded that time. In order to expose the outcrops
currently forming the Second Paran Plateau, the entire Paran ood
basalt sequence and a signicant thickness of Mesozoic and Paleozoic sediments must have been eroded. The eroded section would have
been delivered to the Atlantic Ocean either directly or through the
Paran-La Plata drainage network. Since ~ 35 Ma, the Second Paran
Plateau has been continuously exposed to weathering and erosion.
Weathering intensity has varied, as suggested by the episodic distribution of supergene mineral ages in the weathering proles. Physical
erosion appears to have been the dominant process shaping the Second Paran Plateau in the recent past, as suggested by the discontinuous and truncated nature of most weathering proles blanketing
this land surface.
A comparison between the sites at Vila Velha and Serra das Almas
reveals a similar weathering history for the two sites. The oldest
results for the lateritic ferruginous duricrust at Serra das Almas
(35.1 3.5 Ma) is coeval with the oldest result from the ferruginized
sandstones at Vila Velha (36.4 3.6 Ma). The most intense weathering
period (18.8 1.9 to 7.9 0.8 Ma) is also detected in both proles.
On the other hand, the younger ages (2.1 0.2 to 1.0 0.1 Ma)
obtained from detrital iron concretions scattered on the surface of
relatively recent geomorphological features (surface pans) at Vila
Velha have no counterparts at Serra das Almas. This, however, most
likely reects our sampling strategy. Unfortunately, no detrital
oxyhydroxides, which are likely to record the youngest local ages,
were sampled from the colluvium layers at Serra das Almas
(Fig. 2b3).
The weathering proles at Vila Velha and Serra das Almas are vestiges of regional lateritization, but complete lateritic proles are only
sporadically preserved on the Second Paran Plateau. At Vila Velha,
lateritic weathering promoted the ferruginization and partial dissolution of quartz-rich sediments from the Itarar Group and Furnas
Formation (Fig. 1b). Cementation by supergene oxyhydroxides
(from 36.4 3.6 to 1.0 0.1 Ma at Vila Velha, and from 35.1 3.5
to 14.1 1.4 Ma at Serra das Almas) suggests that the area was
undergoing active and possibly intermittent weathering during the
Neogene. Active aqueous transport of dissolved Mn and Fe and
redeposition of Mn and Fe oxyhydroxides requires periods of water
saturation and the presence of reductants (e.g., organic acids) in
solution (Stumm and Sulzberger, 1992). During periods in which physical erosion was prevalent, these deeply weathered, partially cemented
and friable sediments were differentially etched, giving rise to the
ruiniform surface morphology at Vila Velha.
The results clearly indicate that the weathering processes
that are partially responsible for the pseudo-karstic features at
Vila Velha started at 35 Ma and were particularly intense between 17 and 9 Ma. However, the erosion that carved the
ruiniform features at Vila Velha must be younger than the
weathering proles and likely dates from between the last period of major supergene mineral precipitation (~ 9 Ma) and the

Relative probability (FeOx)

4.1. The age of the Second Paran Plateau

1.6
Vila Velha (FeOx, n=28)
Vila Velha (MnOx, n=17)
Serra das Almas (FeOx, n=15)

0.2

1.2

0.8
0.1
0.4

(b) 12
Frequency (MnOx)

4. Discussion

(a)0.3

10

Vila Velha (n=17)

8
6
4
2
0

(c)
Frequency (FeOx)

apparent ages converge into a plateau age, the pooling of several independent results into a single plateau age will greatly improve the precision of the nal result. (UTh)/He dating, on the other hand, yields
a single age from a grain obtained from two independent analytical
methods (He measured by isotope dilution mass spectrometry, and U
and Th measured by ICP-MS), with two analytical errors propagated
into a single age.

61

Relative probability (MnOx)

S.B. Riffel et al. / Geomorphology 233 (2015) 5263

6
5

Vila Velha (n=28)

Serra das Almas (n=15)

3
2
1
0
0

12

16

20

24

28

32

36

40

Fig. 6. Probability density plot for all results. (a) This plot illustrates a good correspondence
between the 40Ar/39Ar manganese oxyhydroxides and (UTh)/He goethites ages for the
Miocene. The diagram also illustrates good correspondence between the oldest results
at both sites (Vila Velha and Serra das Almas). The overall tendency for old results at
Serra das Almas (a, c) and younger results at Vila Velha (a, b, c) may reect our sampling
strategy, as discussed in the text.

recrystallization of iron oxyhydroxides in the surface pans at


~ 2 Ma. This interpretation is consistent with previous suggestions that the Vila Velha landscape was formed during the late
Neogene (Melo and Coimbra, 1996).

4.2. Post-Eocene weathering history


The elevated topography of the Second Paran Plateau, the presence
of lateritic proles at the highest elevations, and the widespread distribution of deep saprolite throughout the elevated parts of this land surface suggest that a large component of the Second Paran Plateau,
except for its northern and northwestern margins, underwent minimal
post-35 Ma erosion (b1 m Ma1). Localized (i.e. spatially focused)
river incision may nonetheless have removed up to ca. 700 m of rock
along the major drainages in the past 35 Ma (e.g., along the Iva and
Tibagi rivers, Fig. 7a), implying a vertical valley incision rate of ca.
21 m Ma1. Assuming that the interuves hosting the lateritic proles
can be used as anchor points through which the initial topography (ca.
1100 m) of the Second Paran Plateau can be reconstructed, it is possible
to estimate that a total volume of ~14 103 km3 (Fig. 7b) was removed
in the period since 35 Ma, resulting in an average denudation rate of ca.
8.7 m Ma 1 for the Second Paran Plateau since planation. A more
complete geomorphological history of this segment of the southern
Brazilian Atlantic margin should be gained in the future by

62

S.B. Riffel et al. / Geomorphology 233 (2015) 5263

Table 3
Summary of (UTh)/He results from the Vila Velha and Serra das Almas weathering proles.
Run ID#

Raw Age

Corr Age

(Ma)

(Ma)

1.90
1.53
1.28
0.94
8.89
9.11
14.75
15.58
33.06
12.44
12.37
8.01
14.56
10.80
15.88
10.70
8.43
9.54
9.40
9.43
11.06
9.67
10.35
17.36
11.18
13.32
7.21
7.58

2.09
1.68
1.41
1.04
9.78
10.02
16.22
17.14
36.37
13.68
13.61
8.81
16.01
11.88
17.47
11.77
9.27
10.50
10.34
10.38
12.16
10.63
11.38
19.09
12.30
14.65
7.93
8.33

Serra das Almas


09IIP
26.00
09IIR
26.68
09IJP
12.83
09IJQ
14.97
09IJU
16.74
09IKM
24.85
09MNG
25.70
09MNH
24.21
09MNI
27.93
09MNJ
28.59
09MOV
31.95
09MOW
31.75
09MPH
17.06
09MPI
14.14
09MPU
16.97

28.60
29.34
14.12
16.47
18.42
27.33
28.27
26.63
30.73
31.45
35.15
34.93
18.77
15.56
18.66

Vila Velha
09MNK
09MNL
09MOP
09MOQ
09MPB
09MPC
09MPD
09MPE
09MPF
09MPG
09MRC
09MRD
09MSH
09MSJ
09MSK
09MSL
09MSM
09MSN
09MSO
09MSP
09MSQ
09MSR
09MSS
09MST
09MSU
09MSV
09MSW
09MSX

Error 10%

Th

He

mass

Sm

(ppm)

(ppm)

(ppm)

(ppm)

(nmol/g)

(g)

(ppm)

0.21
0.17
0.14
0.10
0.98
1.00
1.62
1.71
3.64
1.37
1.36
0.88
1.60
1.19
1.75
1.18
0.93
1.05
1.03
1.04
1.22
1.06
1.14
1.91
1.23
1.46
0.79
0.83

54.28
58.55
5.43
6.95
13.82
13.60
14.34
7.95
4.84
31.79
82.71
25.53
13.45
11.73
13.89
16.84
13.98
17.59
15.88
23.89
15.64
22.53
16.96
9.49
16.38
13.68
32.69
29.25

0.19
0.21
0.09
0.07
0.05
0.07
0.11
0.08
0.09
0.13
0.55
0.09
0.07
0.05
0.07
0.07
0.15
0.06
0.07
0.15
0.09
0.08
0.06
0.07
0.08
0.11
0.11
0.10

0.52
0.60
1.20
0.93
0.62
0.44
0.41
0.67
10.64
0.80
4.40
0.15
0.19
0.72
0.95
0.06
0.26
0.39
0.15
0.25
0.04
0.09
0.55
2.43
0.35
0.36
0.38
0.56

0.04
0.05
0.05
0.03
0.03
0.03
0.04
0.03
0.18
0.05
0.22
0.02
0.02
0.03
0.04
0.02
0.05
0.03
0.02
0.05
0.03
0.02
0.03
0.05
0.03
0.04
0.02
0.02

0.5618
0.4872
0.0398
0.0368
0.6753
0.6786
1.1584
0.6876
1.3255
2.1638
5.6380
1.1135
1.0691
0.6989
1.2203
0.9808
0.6436
0.9175
0.8134
1.2287
0.9414
1.1857
0.9616
0.9506
1.0013
0.9977
1.2852
1.2105

50.12
43.95
54.16
84.50
93.36
76.01
53.80
78.21
41.56
38.15
10.60
123.85
77.75
98.37
73.83
71.18
38.10
81.62
72.77
38.25
64.37
99.70
79.61
86.13
65.57
53.04
101.75
126.24

15.56
20.51
6.46
6.20
0.91
1.39
4.01
2.28
10.50
9.08
38.81
2.49
2.19
1.28
3.46
2.36
1.84
2.07
2.96
5.29
3.03
4.79
3.21
1.77
2.34
2.32
5.34
2.71

0.01
0.01
0.22
0.13
0.05
0.03
0.03
0.08
2.20
0.03
0.05
0.01
0.01
0.06
0.07
0.00
0.02
0.02
0.01
0.01
0.00
0.00
0.03
0.26
0.02
0.03
0.01
0.02

2.86
2.93
1.41
1.65
1.84
2.73
2.83
2.66
3.07
3.15
3.51
3.49
1.88
1.56
1.87

25.26
24.83
21.11
20.21
18.51
23.57
18.58
26.30
17.47
14.32
11.12
10.46
37.95
43.96
32.68

0.09
0.09
0.07
0.07
0.07
0.08
0.07
0.09
0.06
0.06
0.05
0.08
0.13
0.15
0.11

41.41
42.19
19.85
21.24
28.92
63.81
28.52
45.38
25.81
25.54
24.61
13.00
52.60
78.11
34.97

0.38
0.41
0.21
0.21
0.23
0.41
0.28
0.34
0.27
0.27
0.25
0.18
0.47
0.52
0.35

4.9550
5.0486
1.7997
2.0528
2.3058
5.2183
3.5382
4.8721
3.5819
3.1648
2.9439
2.3386
4.6715
4.7948
3.7767

86.01
69.27
113.30
122.67
175.78
132.97
93.64
130.30
88.49
84.01
103.24
73.63
69.32
97.43
77.08

4.23
4.18
3.43
3.36
2.63
4.03
3.28
4.57
2.99
2.79
2.84
2.94
2.14
2.47
2.72

1.64
1.70
0.94
1.05
1.56
2.71
1.54
1.73
1.48
1.78
2.21
1.24
1.39
1.78
1.07

extrapolating the approaches illustrated here to the First Paran Plateau


and the Third Paran Plateau.

5. Conclusions
40

Ar/39Ar and (UTh)/He geochronology of supergene Mn and Fe


oxyhydroxides from lateritic weathering proles in the Second Paran
Plateau, southern Brazil, establishes a minimum age of ~35 Ma for the
formation of this landsurface. This age limit implies that regional incision generated the land surface before ~ 35 Ma, relative stability promoted its weathering in the 358 Ma interval, and renewed incision
partially dissected it after this time. This erosion history suggests average incision rates ~9 m Ma1 since ~35 Ma. The weathering processes
shaping the pseudo-karstic features at Vila Velha occurred in the
358 Ma interval, while the ruiniform features probably result from
renewed erosion post 8 Ma.

Th/U

Acknowledgments
The authors are grateful for the nancial support from CAPES (PhD
scholarship 4862-06-6), and logistic and nancial support from
PETROBRAS/CENPES for the 40Ar/39Ar analyses. We are also thankful
for the environmental license granted for research at Vila Velha Park
(IAP no. 183/09). We are also grateful to the geologist Mathieu Moriss
(Paradigm Softwares Technologies Inc.) for the support on DEM volume
calculation with the GOCAD software. The construction of the UQ-AGES
facility was partially funded by ARC Large Grant A39531815.
Appendix A. Supplementary data
Supplementary data associated with this article can be found in the
online version, at http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.geomorph.2014.10.041.
These data include Google maps of the most important areas described
in this article.

S.B. Riffel et al. / Geomorphology 233 (2015) 5263

(b)

-24

(a)

63

NW
Ti

ba

gi

Ri

ve
r

Iva

-25

ive
r

Elevation
(m)

Elevation (m)

NW

SE

1200

1330
1140

SE

V3 = 13,985 km3

800

945

r
ive

755

uR

Igu

-26

565

400

375

-51

-50

0
-51.5

-51.3

-51.1

-50.9

-50.7

-50.5

-50.3

-50.1

-49.9

-49.7

Fig. 7. Digital elevation model of the Second Paran Plateau. (a) Illustration of the greater preservation of the initial Second Paran Plateau surface in its eastern part, and its deeper
denudation and river incision towards the west and north. (b) A NWSE topographic cross-section through the region illustrates the greater depths of river incision in the NW, and
the preservation of high-elevation plateaus, blanketed by weathering proles, towards the SE.

References
Ab'Saber, A.N., Bigarella, J.J., 1961. Consideraes sobre a geomorfognese da Serra do Mar
no Paran. Bol. Paranaen. Geogr. 4 (5), 94110 (in Portuguese).
Almeida, F.F.M., 1976. The system of continental rifts bordering the Santos basin, Brazil.
An. Acad. Bras. Cienc. 48, 1526.
Beauvais, A., Chardon, D., 2013. Modes, tempo and spatial variability of Cenozoic cratonic
denudation: the West African example. Geochem. Geophys. Geosyst. 14, 15901608.
Cogn, N., Gallagher, K., Cobbold, P.R., 2011. Post-rift reactivation of the onshore margin of
southeast Brazil: evidence from apatite (UTh)/He and ssion-track data. Earth Planet. Sci. Lett. 309, 11130.
Fleck, R.J., Sutter, J.F., Elliot, D.H., 1977. Interpretation of discordant 40Ar/39Ar age-spectra
of Mesozoic tholeiites from Antarctica. Geochim. Cosmochim. Acta 41, 132.
Gallagher, K., Hawkesworth, C.J., Mantovani, M.S.M., 1994. The denudation history of the
onshore continental-margin of SE Brazil inferred from apatite ssion-track data.
J. Geophys. Res. Solid Earth 99, 181118145.
Gallagher, K., Hawkesworth, C.J., Mantovani, M.S.M., 1995. Denudation, ssion track
analysis and the long-term evolution of passive margin topography; application to
the Southeast Brazilian margin. J. S. Am. Earth Sci. 8, 677.
Gomes, C.B., Ruberti, E., Comin-Chiaramonti, P., Azzone, R.G., 2011. Alkaline magmatism
in the Ponta Grossa Arch, SE Brazil: a review. J. S. Am. Earth Sci. 32, 15168.
Heim, J.A., Vasconcelos, P.M., Shuster, D.L., Farley, K.A., Broadbent, G., 2006. Dating
paleochannel iron ore by (UTh)/He analysis of supergene goethite, Hamersley province, Australia. Geology 34, 17176.
King, L.C., 1956. A geomorfologia do Brasil Oriental. Rev. Bras. Geogr. 18, 147265 (in
Portuguese).
Kuiper, K.F., Deino, A., Hilgen, F.J., Krijgsman, W., Renne, P.R., Wijbrans, J.R., 2008. Synchronizing rock clocks of Earth history. Science 320, 50504.
Lee, J.Y., Marti, K., Severinghaus, J.P., Kawamura, K., Yoo, H.S., Lee, J.B., Kim, J.S., 2006. A
redetermination of the isotopic abundances of atmospheric Ar. Geochim. Cosmochim.
Acta 70, 4504512.
Maack, R., 1947. Breves notcias sobre a geologia dos estados do Paran e Santa Catarina.
Arq. Inst. Biol. Pes. Technol. 2, 6154 (in Portuguese, with English abstract).
Melo, M.S., Coimbra, A.M., 1996. Ruiniform relief in sandstones: the example of Vila Velha,
Carboniferous of the Paran Basin, southern Brazil. Acta Geol. Hisp. 31, 240.
Melo, M.S., Giannini, P.C.F., 2007. Sandstone dissolution landforms in the Furnas Formation, Southern Brazil. Earth Surf. Process. Landf. 32, 2142164.
Melo, M.S., Coimbra, A.M., Sayeg, I.J., Giannini, P.C.F., Atncio, D., 1999. Fringed
cryptomelane/hollandite in the Vila Velha Sandstone telogenesis. Acta Microsc. 8
(A), 336.
Monteiro, H.S., Vasconcelos, P.M., Farley, K.A., Spier, C.A., Mello, C.L., 2014. (UTh)/He geochronology of goethite and the origin and evolution of cangas. Geochim. Cosmochim.
Acta 131, 26289.
Moreira, J.L.P., Madeira, C.V., Gil, J.A., Machado, M.A.P., 2007. Bacia de Santos. Bol. Geosci.
Petrobras 15, 53549 (in Portuguese).

Riccomini, C., Velazquez, V.F., Gomes, C.B., 2005. Tectonic controls of the Mesozoic and
Cenozoic alkaline magmatism in central-southeastern Brazilian platform. In:
Comin-Chiaramonti, P., Gomes, C.B. (Eds.), Mesozoic to Cenozoic alkaline magmatism
in the Brazilian platform. EDUSP-FAPESP, So Paulo, pp. 355.
Shuster, D.L., Vasconcelos, P.M., Heim, J.A., Farley, K.A., 2005. Weathering geochronology
by (UTh)/He dating of goethite. Geochim. Cosmochim. Acta 69, 65673.
Soares, P.C., Landim, M.B., 1976. Comparison between the tectonic evolution of the
intracratonic and marginal basins in South Brazil. An. Acad. Bras. Cienc. 48, 313324
(Suppl.).
Soares, P.C., Bonacim, E.A., Nogueira Filho, J., Soares, A.P., 2002. Um olhar geolgico para a
paisagem: Curitiba a Vila Velha (PR, Brasil). Simpsio de Roteiros Geolgicos do
Paran. SBG, Ponta Grossa, Sociedade Brasileira de Geologia, pp. 896.
Steiger, R.H., Jger, E., 1977. Subcommission on geochronology: convention on the use of
decay constants in geo- and cosmochronology. Earth Planet. Sci. Lett. 36, 359362.
Stumm, W., Sulzberger, B., 1992. The cycling of iron in natural environments: considerations based on laboratory studies of heterogeneous redox processes. Geochim.
Cosmochim. Acta 56, 32333257.
Thompson, R.N., Gibson, S.A., Mitchell, J.G., Dickin, A.P., Leonardos, O.H., Brod, J.A.,
Greenwood, J.C., 1998. Migrating CretaceousEocene magmatism in the Serra do
Mar alkaline province, SE Brazil: melts from the deected Trindade mantle plume?
J. Petrol. 39, 14931526.
USGS, February 2004. Shuttle Radar Topography Mission, 3 Arc Second scene SRTM_u03_
s22-27w48-55, Unlled Unnished 2.0. Global Land Cover Facility, University of
Maryland, College Park, Maryland.
Vasconcelos, P.M., 1999a. K-Ar and 40Ar/39Ar geochronology of weathering processes.
Annu. Rev. Earth Planet. Sci. 27, 183229.
Vasconcelos, P.M., 1999b. 40Ar/ 39Ar geochronology of supergene processes in ore
deposits. Rev. Econ. Geol. 12, 73113.
Vasconcelos, P.M., Conroy, M., 2003. Geochronology of weathering and landscape evolution, Dugald River valley, NW Queensland, Australia. Geochim. Cosmochim. Acta 67,
29132930.
Vasconcelos, P.M., Onoe, A.T., Kawashita, K., Soares, A.J., Teixeira, W., 2002. 40Ar/39Ar geochronology at the Instituto de Geocincias, USP: instrumentation, analytical procedures, and calibration. An. Acad. Bras. Cienc. 74, 297342.
Vasconcelos, P.M., Heim, J.A., Farley, K.A., Monteiro, H., Waltenberg, K., 2013. 40Ar/39Ar
and (UTh)/He 4He/3He geochronology of landscape evolution and channel iron
deposit genesis at Lynn Peak, Western Australia. Geochim. Cosmochim. Acta 117,
283312.
Velzquez, V.F., Riccomini, C., Gomes, C.d.B., Kirk, J., 2011. The Cretaceous alkaline dyke
swarm in the central segment of the Asuncin Rift, eastern Paraguay: its regional distribution, mechanism of emplacement, and tectonic signicance. J. Geol. Res. 118.