U-Th-Pb systematics were investigated in 15 samples representing two types of deuterically altered Archean granite (albitized and silicified-epidotized granite) from the Granite Mountains, Wyoming. The loss of K-feldspar during both types of deuteric alteration was accompanied by an extreme reduction of Pb content from roughly 40 ppm to less than 12 ppm in the most altered samples. Nine of the 15 samples yield anomalously young whole-rock Pb-Pb and Th-Pb ages compared to concordia ages for zircons and to whole-rock Pb-Pb and Th-Pb ages for samples of unaltered granite. The young ages are interpreted to be the result of radiogenic Pb loss during a middle Proterozoic metamorphism that disturbed several isotopic systems in the unaltered granite. The loss of radiogenic Pb from the whole-rock systems of the deuterically altered granites is most likely due to the absence of microcline. In many granitic rocks, potassium feldspar tends to act as a receptor for Pb that has been mobilized, and this effect may account for the closed-system behavior of Pb in whole-rock samples of the unaltered granite. It may also account for the apparent gain of radiogenic Pb during the Proterozoic by one sample which was collected at the edge of an alteration zone. The deuterically altered granites may have also lost U during the Proterozoic, but, except for two samples, the dominant U loss occurred relatively recently, probably during Tertiary uplift and erosion. The low common-Pb contents and rather high U and Th contents of the hydrothermally altered granites might seem to indicate that these rocks are well suited for geochronologic studies in the U-Th-Pb system because such rocks should have a high percentage of radiogenic Pb. Unfortunately, open-system behavior in response to post-crystallization metamorphism shows that apparent ages for these types of rocks must be interpreted with caution. ?? 1981.
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U-Th-Pb systematics in hydrothermally altered granites from the Granite Mountains, Wyoming