Paleoproterozoic strata in northern Michigan, Wisconsin, and Minnesota were deposited between 2.3 and 1.75 Ga within the rifted margin and subsequent foreland basin of the Penokean orogen. These strata show evidence for multiple regional metamorphic events previously attributed entirely to the Penokean orogeny (1875-1835 Ma). Metasandstones from the Marquette Range Supergroup and the Animikie, Mille Lacs, and North Range Groups were sampled at multiple localities across Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan for metamorphic xenotime suitable for in situ SHRIMP U-Pb geochronology. All samples are from the northern Penokean foreland basin where the metamorphic grade is greenschist to sub-greenschist and the strata are virtually undeformed. Xenotime U-Pb ages in these samples have a bimodal population with means of 1786 ?? 4 Ma (n = 32) and 1861 ?? 10 Ma (n = 9). Xenotime of both ages are contained in metasandstones from the basal Chocolay Group in Michigan and Wisconsin and the Mille Lacs Group and North Range Groups in Minnesota. The older age records a regional low-temperature thermal event that is slightly older than the overlying Menominee Group in Michigan and the Animikie Group in Minnesota and Ontario. This 1861 Ma event coincides with regional uplift that led to the formation of the unconformity between the Menominee Group and the overlying Baraga Group in Michigan; hence xenotime growth must have occurred at shallow burial depths. Younger units from the Menominee and Baraga Groups in Michigan and the Animikie Group in Minnesota, record only the 1786 Ma event. A dominant 1800-1790 Ma metamorphic monazite population that overprints Penokean-interval monazite has been documented within amphibolite- to granulite-facies rocks immediately north of the Niagara Fault Zone within the vicinity of gneiss domes and granitic plutons. In contrast, the 1786 Ma xenotime ages are from low-grade, virtually undeformed rocks 50-150 km from the high-grade zones and thus do not appear to reflect a local thermal imprint. Rather, the geographic extent of the 1786 Ma xenotime growth event suggests that it reflects a basin-wide, subtle thermal pulse. It is proposed that the xenotime ages record widespread subtle heating triggered by renewed subduction along the orogen due to Yavapai-interval convergence. The 1800-1700 Ma Yavapai terrane forms an accretionary belt throughout the central and southwestern U.S. and truncates the southern part of the Penokean orogen in central Wisconsin and southeastern Minnesota, about 200 km south of the sample sites. Alternatively, an 1800-1765 Ma interval of gravitational collapse of overthickened crust of the Penokean orogen immediately north of the Niagara Fault Zone may have driven a northward flow of hydrothermal fluids which subtly but pervasively altered the northern parts of the Penokean foreland and resulted in xenotime growth. ?? 2007 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Additional publication details
Thermal history of low metamorphic grade Paleoproterozoic sedimentary rocks of the Penokean orogen, Lake Superior region: Evidence for a widespread 1786 Ma overprint based on xenotime geochronology