Using detrital zircon ages and Hf isotopes to identify 1.48-1.45Ga sedimentary basins and fingerprint sources of exotic 1.6-1.5Ga grains in southwestern Laurentia

Michael F. Doe, James V. Jones, Karl E. Karlstrom, Brandon Dixon, George Gehrels, Mark Pecha

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

19 Scopus citations

Abstract

Globally rare 1.6-1.5 Ga zircons provide an underutilized correlation tool for Precambrian supercontinent reconstructions. Detrital 1.6-1.5 Ga zircons, long known from the Belt Supergroup, have recently been discovered in multiple metasedimentary successions in southwestern North America. Few igneous or metamorphic sources in this age range are known in Laurentia, implying non-Laurentian provenance. Combined U-Pb and Hf isotopic data offer a robust test of their provenance. New U-Pb detrital zircon ages from quartzite exposed in the Defiance uplift in northeastern Arizona indicate a maximum depositional age of ca. 1476 Ma and a predominance of locally derived ca. 1655 Ma and older detritus. The quartzite contains populations at 1570, 1554, and 1519 Ma that do not have known Laurentian sources and are similar to our new and recently published data from the ca. 1474-1436 Ma Blackjack Formation in south-central Arizona. Based on similarities between age spectra and depositional age constraints, we suggest a correlation between the two stratigraphic sections and postulate that a previously unrecognized, and now largely eroded, 1475-1450 Ma sedimentary basin or set of basins may have extended across much of southwestern Laurentia. We refer to this basin as the Yankee Joe-Defiance basin. Hf isotopic analysis of ca. 1.6-1.5 Ga detrital zircons from both localities yields positive epsilon-Hf (eHf) values of +0.2 to +12 indicating a near-juvenile Hf fingerprint with a mean of ~ +7. This range overlaps with, but is more juvenile than, eHf values of +3 to +7.5 from the Belt basin. In terms of possible non-Laurentian source regions, Hf data from both the North and South Australia cratons overlap with, but are also generally less juvenile than, eHf values of Laurentian zircons. Only the North Australia craton contains the full range of ages and Hf isotope values recognized in the 1.6-1.5 Ga Yankee Joe-Defiance populations. This finding supports plate reconstructions involving Australia as a source for exotic detritus in western Laurentia ca. 1480-1450 Ma.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)409-421
Number of pages13
JournalPrecambrian Research
Volume231
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 1 2013

Keywords

  • Arizona
  • Defiance
  • Hafnium
  • Laurentia
  • Mazatzal
  • Yankee Joe Basin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geology
  • Geochemistry and Petrology

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