Three-Dimensional Evolution of the Early Paleozoic Western Laurentian Margin: New Insights From Detrital Zircon U-Pb Geochronology and Hf Isotope Geochemistry of the Harmony Formation of Nevada

G. M. Linde, J. H. Trexler, P. H. Cashman, G. Gehrels, W. R. Dickinson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

7 Scopus citations

Abstract

Uranium-lead (U-Pb) geochronology and Hafnium (Hf) isotope geochemistry of detrital zircons of the Harmony Formation of north central Nevada provide new insights into the tectonic evolution of the Late Paleozoic western Laurentian margin. Using laser-ablation inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry, 10 arenite samples were analyzed for U-Pb ages, and 8 of these samples were further analyzed for Hf isotope ratios. Three of the sampled units have similar U-Pb age peaks and Hf isotope ratios, including a 1.0–1.4 Ga peak with εHf values of +12 to −3 and a 2.5–2.7 Ga peak with εHf values of +7 to −5. The remaining seven samples differ significantly from these three, but are similar to one another; having age peaks of 1.7–1.9 Ga with εHf of +10 to −20 and age peaks of 2.3–2.7 Ga with εHf of +6 to −8. The data confirm the subdivision of the Harmony Formation into two petrofacies: quartzose (Harmony A) and feldspathic (Harmony B). The three samples with 1.0–1.4 and 2.5–2.7 Ga peaks are the Harmony A, which originated in the central Laurentian craton. The other seven samples are the Harmony B, which originated in eastern Alberta-western Saskatchewan, north of the Harmony A source. We propose that all Harmony Formation strata were deposited near eastern Alberta and subsequently tectonically interleaved with Roberts Mountains allochthon strata. We interpret that the entire package was tectonically transported south along the western Laurentian margin and then emplaced eastward onto the craton during the Late Devonian-Early Mississippian Antler orogeny.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2347-2369
Number of pages23
JournalTectonics
Volume36
Issue number11
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 2017

Keywords

  • Antler orogeny
  • Cordillera
  • Harmony Formation
  • Paleozoic tectonics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geophysics
  • Geochemistry and Petrology

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