Through the application of both conventional U-Pb zircon analyses and small-sample U-Pb isotopic analyses, the nature and timing of tectonic events leading to the formation of the Gawler Craton have been defined more precisely. Constraints on deposition of Early Proterozoic iron formation-bearing sediments have been narrowed down to the period 1960-1847 Ma. Deformed acid volcanics, including the economically important Moonta Porphyry, have zircon ages of ??? 1790 and 1740 Ma. The voluminous acid Gawler Range Volcanics and correlatives to the east were erupted over a short interval at 1592 ?? 2 Ma, and were intruded by anorogenic granites at ??? 1575 Ma. Small-sample zircon analyses proved to be an extremely valuable adjunct to conventional analyses, generally yielding more-concordant data which forced a curved discordia through an upper intercept slightly younger than from a conventional straight-line discordia. ?? 1988.
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Refined Proterozoic evolution of the Gawler Craton, South Australia, through U-Pb zircon geochronology