The isotopic composition of lead in potassium feldspars from some 1.0-b.y. old North American igneous rocks

Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta
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The isotopic composition of lead and the uranium, thorium and lead concentrations in potassium feldspars are determined for more than 30 1.0-b.y. old North American igneous rocks. Samples representing a broad spectrum in petrographic type and mode of occurrence were chosen; an effort was made to include only rocks having well-documented ages from 950 to 1140 m.y. and showing minimal evidence of subsequent metamorphism.

Most samples, including those from extensive terranes of contemporaneous age, have limited lead isotope variations (Pb206Pb204= 16.74–17.38; Pb207Pb204= 15.39–15.59; Pb208Pb204= 36.38–37.10), which yield model ages close to the radiometric ages. Granite, pegmatite, and rhyolite from within the Grenville province of Canada and age-equivalent rocks of New York, Virginia, Texas, and Colorado and granophyric units associated with the Duluth Gabbro Complex of Minnesota are among the materials yielding this main isotopic spectrum.

Several samples were encountered which had isotopic compositions very different from the above group. Lead showing a marked deficiency in radiogenic isotopes was found in two granitic bodies associated with older Labrador Trough rocks from Quebec, in a rapakivi granite from southern Nevada, and in a small granite stock from Mellen, Wisconsin. These occurrences all involve small intrusions of granite which lie near considerably older areas of basement rock. Model ages calculated from the Pb206Pb204 ratio are older than the age of the intrusions and approach the age of the host basement rock.

Several possible interpretations are offered to explain the isotopic behavior encountered in this study. In particular, a “vertically differentiated crust” model is proposed which will account for both the main spectrum and the anomalous lead. The significance of lead isotopic studies in understanding crustal structure in continental regions is discussed.

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title The isotopic composition of lead in potassium feldspars from some 1.0-b.y. old North American igneous rocks
Series title Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta
DOI 10.1016/0016-7037(69)90104-5
Volume 33
Issue 8
Year Published 1969
Language English
Publisher Elsevier
Description 42 p.
First page 901
Last page 942
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