U-Pb geochronology of zircon and polygenetic titanite from the Glastonbury Complex, Connecticut, USA: An integrated SEM, EMPA, TIMS, and SHRIMP study

Chemical Geology

, , ,
DOI: 10.1016/S0009-2541(02)00076-1



U-Pb ages for zircon and titanite from a granodioritic gneiss in the Glastonbury Complex, Connecticut, have been determined using both isotope dilution thermal ionization mass spectrometry (TIMS) and the sensitive high resolution ion microprobe (SHRIMP). Zircons occur in three morphologic populations: (1) equant to stubby, multifaceted, colorless, (2) prismatic, dark brown, with numerous cracks, and (3) elongate, prismatic, light tan to colorless. Cathodoluminescence (CL) imaging of the three populations shows simple concentric oscillatory zoning. The zircon TIMS age [weighted average of 207Pb/206Pb ages from Group 3 grains-450.5 ?? 1.6 Ma (MSWD=1.11)] and SHRIMP age [composite of 206Pb/238 U age data from all three groups-448.2 ?? 2.7 Ma (MSWD = 1.3)], are interpreted to suggest a relatively simple crystallization history. Titanite from the granodioritic gneiss occurs as both brown and colorless varieties. Scanning electron microscope backscatter (BSE) images of brown grains show multiple cross-cutting oscillatory zones of variable brightness and dark overgrowths. Colorless grains are unzoned or contain subtle wispy or very faint oscillatory zoning. Electron microprobe analysis (EMPA) clearly distinguishes the two populations. Brown grains contain relatively high concentrations of Fe2O3, Ce2O3 (up to ~ 1.5 wt.%), Nb2O5, and Zr. Cerium concentration is positively correlated with total REE + Y concentration, which together can exceed 3.5 wt.%. Oscillatory zoning in brown titanite is correlated with variations in REE concentrations. In contrast, colorless titanite (both as discrete grains and overgrowths on brown titanite) contains lower concentrations of Y, REE, Fe2O3, and Zr, but somewhat higher Al2O3 and Nb2O5. Uranium concentrations and Th/U discriminate between brown grains (typically 200-400 ppm U; all analyses but one have Th/U between about 0.8 and 2) and colorless grains (10-60 ppm U; Th/U of 0-0.17). In contrast to the zircon U-Pb age results, SHRIMP U-Pb data from titanite indicate multiple growth episodes. In brown grains, oscillatory zoned cores formed at 443 ?? 6 Ma, whereas white (in BSE) cross-cutting zones are 425 ?? 9 Ma. Colorless grains and overgrowths on brown grains yield an age of 265 ?? 8 Ma (using the Total Pb method) or 265 ?? 5 Ma (using the weighted average of the 206Pb/238U ages). However, EMPA chemical data identify zoning that suggests that this colorless titanite may preserve three growth events. Oscillatory zoned portions of brown titanite grains are igneous in origin; white cross-cutting zones probably formed during a previously unrecognized event that caused partial dissolution of earlier titanite and reprecipitation of a slightly younger generation of brown titanite. Colorless titanite replaced and grew over the magmatic titanite during the Permian Alleghanian orogeny. These isotopic data indicate that titanite, like zircon, can contain multiple age components. Coupling SHRIMP microanalysis with EMPA and SEM results on dated zones as presented in this study is an efficient and effective technique to extract additional chronologic ?? 2002 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.

Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Publication Subtype:
Journal Article
U-Pb geochronology of zircon and polygenetic titanite from the Glastonbury Complex, Connecticut, USA: An integrated SEM, EMPA, TIMS, and SHRIMP study
Series title:
Chemical Geology
Year Published:
Larger Work Type:
Larger Work Subtype:
Journal Article
First page:
Last page:
Number of Pages: