Lead isotopic evidence for the origin of Paleo- and Mesoproterozoic rocks of the Colorado Province, U.S.A.

Precambrian Research

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Lead isotopic ratios of K-feldspars and whole-rocks from 1.7- and 1.4-Ga plutonic rocks of the Colorado Province are relatively non-radiogenic for 207Pb 204Pb, plotting below the average crust model curve of Stacey and Kramers (1975), indicating that the terrane was derived primarily from juvenile, mantle material. Slightly more radiogenic ratios in the northern part of the terrane, near the Archean Wyoming Province, suggest minor inclusion of an older component. The data from 1.7-Ga plutons plot in a broad field suggesting two episodes of re-equilibration with whole-rock Pb, probably related to heating events in the Mesoproterozoic (1.4 Ga) and Cretaceous (70 Ma). Possible differences in calculated whole-rock Th U, coupled with slight Pb isotopic variations, along the north-south transect suggest either a terrane boundary through central Colorado (near Salida and Gunnison), or fundamental differences in source rocks (metasedimentary vs. metavolcanic). UPb analyses of multigrain splits of detrital zircons from quartzites throughout the Colorado Province have failed to identify Archean detritus. The oldest 207Pb 206Pb ages found (in two samples of quartzite from northern Colorado) are about 2.0 Ga (perhaps derived from rocks of the Trans-Hudson orogen), in contrast to 2.75-Ga detrital zircon in a Paleoproterozoic quartzite from the southern part of the Wyoming Province. While we are not yet able to discern if these ages are true provenance ages or mixtures of Archean and Paleoproterozoic components, the absence of easily recognizable Archean zircons supports other isotopic data and a conclusion that most of the Paleoproterozoic crust of the Colorado Province was ultimately derived from a juvenile (at 1.8 Ga) mantle reservoir. ?? 1993.

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Lead isotopic evidence for the origin of Paleo- and Mesoproterozoic rocks of the Colorado Province, U.S.A.
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Precambrian Research
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