U-Pb ages of individual detrital and metamorphic zircons from 12 Archean metasedimentary rocks, including quartzites, from the Beartooth, Ruby, and Tobacco Root uplifts of the northern Wyoming province indicate that they were deposited between 2.7 and 3.2 Ga. Younger, metamorphic zircons are found as overgrowths and new grains in some samples, and yield ages between 2.7 and 1.9 Ga. They are, however, much less abundant than detrital grains, which constitute >75% of the 355 grains analyzed. The majority of the detrital grains have ages between 3.2 and 3.4 Ga; none are younger than 2.9 Ga. Grains with 207Pb/206Pb ages between 3.4 and 4.0 Ga constituted approximately 15% of all grains with analyses within 10% of concordia, but are concentrated in samples from the eastern Beartooth Mountains. Comparison of the average of the Pb-Pb ages of individual zircons within 10% of concordia with previously published Lu-Hf chondritic model ages for some individual samples suggests that the age distribution recorded by the U-Pb system in these zircons has not been significantly disturbed by pre- or post-depositional Pb-loss. Collectively, these data suggest that the individual metasedimentary rocks did not completely share a common provenance and that a major crust-forming cycle occurred 3.2 to 3.4 Ga. In conjunction with previously published U-Th-Pb whole-rock data, these results suggest that rocks with a relatively high proportion of > 3.4 Ga grains may have had crust of comparable age in their provenance. ?? 1998 Elsevier Science B.V.
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Early Archean crust in the northern Wyoming province Evidence from U-Pb ages of detrital zircons