Gneissic rocks that are basement to the Late Archean granites comprising much of the Wind River Range, west-central Wyoming, have been dated by the zircon U-Pb method using both conventional and ion microprobe techniques. A foliated hornblende granite gneiss member from the southern border of the Bridger batholith is 2670??13 Ma. Zircons from a granulite just north of the Bridger batholith are equant and faceted, a typical morphology for zircon grown under high grade metamorphic conditions. This granulite, which may be related to a second phase of migmatization in the area, is 2698??8 Ma. South of the Bridger batholith, zircons from a granulite (charnockite), which is related to an earlier phase of migmatization in the Range, yield a discordia with intercept ages of about 2.3 and 3.3 Ga. However, ion microprobe analyses of single zircon grains indicate that this rock contains several populations of zircon, ranging in age from 2.67 to about 3.8 Ga. Based on zircon morphology and regional geologic relationships, we interpret the data as indicating an age of ???3.2 Ga for the first granulite metamorphism and migmatization. Older, possibly xenocrystic zircons give ages of ???3.35, 3.65 and ???3.8 Ga. Younger zircons grew at 2.7 and 2.85 Ga in response to events, including the second granulite metamorphism at 2.7 Ga, that culminated in the intrusion of the Bridger batholith and migmatization at 2.67 Ga. These data support the field and petrographic evidence for two granulite events and provide some temporal constraints for the formation of continental crust in the Early and Middle Archean in the Wyoming Province. ?? 1989 Springer-Verlag.
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Evidence for an Early Archean component in the Middle to Late Archean gneisses of the Wind River Range, west-central Wyoming: conventional and ion microprobe U-Pb data