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Rem: Revista Escola de Minas

Print version ISSN 0370-4467

Abstract

MOTOKI, Akihisa; CAMPOS, Thomas Ferreira da Costa; FONSECA, Vanildo Pereira da  and  MOTOKI, Kenji Freire. Subvolcanic neck of Cabugi Peak, state of Rio Grande do Norte, Brazil, and origin of its landform. Rem: Rev. Esc. Minas [online]. 2012, vol.65, n.2, pp. 195-206. ISSN 0370-4467.  http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0370-44672012000200008.

This article reports geologic, petrographic, and geomorphological observations of the mafic alkaline subvolcanic neck of the Cabugi Peak, located in the State of Rio Grande do Norte, Brazil. The massif is 370 m high and has 0.4 km3 of total volume. It is constituted mainly by Caicó orthogneiss. The neck is exposed on the top of the massif forming a conical morphologic protrusion with relative height of 160 m and diameter of 500 m. The volume of the mafic alkaline rock is 0.056 km3 occupying 14% of the whole massif. The general form of the massif is strongly convex with the MCI (Macro Concavity Index) of -2.3. The neck is constituted by olivine-rich alkaline micro-gabbro in the centre and alkaline dolerite at the contact zone. There are well-developed cooling columnar joints with typical diameter of 60 cm. They are steep at the centre of the neck and sub-horizontal at the contact zone. On the foothill surface, called Sertaneja surface, no outcrops of mafic alkaline lava, other eruptive deposits, or volcanic rock debris have been observed. These observations allow a conclusion that the volcanic edifice and eruptive deposits of the late Oligocene were completely removed by later uplift and consequent regional denudation and that the present-day surface is significantly lower than that of the eruption time. The outcrops of the Cabugi Peak exhibit the underground geologic structure of the late Oligocene volcano. The original volcano form is not preserved anymore and the present morphologic elevation is attributed to differential erosion of the subvolcanic neck. According to the volcanological definition, the present-day morphology of the Cabugi Peak is not classified as an extinct volcano.

Keywords : Cabugi Peak; Rio Grande do Norte; olivine micro-gabbro; subvolcanic neck; Macau alkaline magmatism; differential erosion.

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