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U-Pb age of zircon crystals from the upper banner tonstein (Middle Pennsylvanian), Virginia: Absolute age of the Lower Pennsylvanian-Middle Pennsylvanian boundary and depositional rates for the Middle Pennsylvanian, central appalachian basin

Prace - Panstwowego Instytutu Geologicznego

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Abstract

The Upper Banner tonstein, a kaolinized volcanic ash bed that occurs about 90 m above the base of the Middle Pennsylvanian Series in Virginia, is the oldest known Middle Pennsylvanian tonstein in the Appalachian basin. On the basis of palynostratigraphy, the Upper Banner coal bed correlates approximately with the Langsettian-Duckmantian (ex Westphalian A-B) boundary in Europe. Stratigraphically, the Upper Banner tonstein occurs 440-480 m below the Fire Clay tonstein, which in turn is 25-50 m below the marine Magoffin Member of the Breathitt Formation, the approximate correlative of the Agir Marine Band that marks the Dunckmantian-Bolsovian (ex Westphalian C) boundary in Europe. Six single-crystal U-Pb zircon ages were determined for the Upper Banner tonstein. Of these, four overlap concordia within uncertainties and have 206Pb/238U ages that range from 306 to 310??1 Ma. Another analysis falls in the same group but plots slightly to the right of the curve, whereas a single analysis of a low uranium zircon grain gives an age of 316??1 Ma. Variation in ages is outside of analytical uncertainty; hence, variable amounts of recent Pb loss is implied, and the most probable (minimum) depositional age is given by the oldest value at 316??1 Ma - an age consistent with a mean sanidine 40Ar/39Ar plateau age of 311.2??0.7 Ma for the stratigraphically younger Fire Clay tonstein. Thus, the Upper Banner tonstein-Fire Clay tonstein interval is about 5 ?? 1 m.y. This period of time for the Dunckmantian Stage is in good agreement with the Hess and Lippolt (1986) and Hess et al. (1988) chronology for the Duckmantian based on 40Ar/39Ar plateau methods for Westphalian tonsteins. Also, on the basis of this period of time, calculated sedimentation rates (decompacted) od 66-165 m/m.y. were determined for the lower part of the Middle Pennsylvanian Series in the central Appalachian basin. These rates are consistent with the sedimentation rates for shallow-water marine siliciclastic sediments and passive-margin foreland sediments.

Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Article
Publication Subtype:
Journal Article
Title:
U-Pb age of zircon crystals from the upper banner tonstein (Middle Pennsylvanian), Virginia: Absolute age of the Lower Pennsylvanian-Middle Pennsylvanian boundary and depositional rates for the Middle Pennsylvanian, central appalachian basin
Series title:
Prace - Panstwowego Instytutu Geologicznego
Volume
157
Year Published:
1997
Language:
English
Larger Work Type:
Article
Larger Work Subtype:
Journal Article
Larger Work Title:
Prace - Panstwowego Instytutu Geologicznego
First page:
154
Last page:
166
Number of Pages:
13