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Creation of a continent recorded in zircon zoning

Geology

By:
, , , , , and
DOI: 10.1130/G24416A.1

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Abstract

We have discovered a robust microcrystalline record of the early genesis of North American lithosphere preserved in the U-Pb age and oxygen isotope zoning of zircons from a lower crustal paragneiss in the Neoarchean Superior province. Detrital igneous zircon cores with ??18O values of 5.1???-7.1??? record creation of primitive to increasingly evolved crust from 2.85 ?? 0.02 Ga to 2.67 ?? 0.02 Ga. Sharp chemical unconformity between cores and higher ??18O (8.4???-10.4???) metamorphic overgrowths as old as 2.66 ?? 0.01 Ga dictates a rapid sequence of arc unroofing, burial of detrital zircons in hydrosphere-altered sediment, and transport to lower crust late in upper plate assembly. The period to 2.58 ?? 0.01 Ga included ???80 m.y. of high-temperature (???700-650 ??C), nearly continuous overgrowth events reflecting stages in maturation of the subjacent mantle root. Huronian continental rifting is recorded by the youngest zircon tip growth at 2512 ?? 8 Ma (??? 600 ??C) signaling magma intraplating and the onset of rigid plate behavior. This >150 m.y. microscopic isotope record in single crystals demonstrates the sluggish volume diffusion of U, Pb, and O in zircon throughout protracted regional metamorphism, and the consequent advances now possible in reconstructing planetary dynamics with zircon zoning. ?? 2008 The Geological Society of America.

Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Article
Publication Subtype:
Journal Article
Title:
Creation of a continent recorded in zircon zoning
Series title:
Geology
DOI:
10.1130/G24416A.1
Volume
36
Issue:
3
Year Published:
2008
Language:
English
Larger Work Type:
Article
Larger Work Subtype:
Journal Article
Larger Work Title:
Geology
First page:
239
Last page:
242
Number of Pages:
4