Component geochronology in the polyphase ca. 3920 Ma Acasta Gneiss

Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta
By: , and 

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Abstract

The oldest compiled U–Pb zircon ages for the Acasta Gneiss Complex in the Northwest Territories of Canada span about 4050–3850 Ma; yet older ca. 4200 Ma xenocrystic U–Pb zircon ages have also been reported for this terrane. The AGC expresses at least 25 km2 of outcrop exposure, but only a small subset of this has been documented in the detail required to investigate a complex history and resolve disputes over emplacement ages. To better understand this history, we combined new ion microprobe235,238U–207,206Pb zircon geochronology with whole-rock and zircon rare earth element compositions ([REE]zirc), Ti-in-zircon thermometry (Tixln) and 147Sm–143Nd geochronology for an individual subdivided ∼60 cm2 slab of Acasta banded gneiss comprising five separate lithologic components. Results were compared to other variably deformed granitoid-gneisses and plagioclase-hornblende rocks from elsewhere in the AGC. We show that different gneissic components carry distinct [Th/U]zirc vs. Tixln and [REE]zirc signatures correlative with different zircon U–Pb age populations and WR compositions, but not with 147Sm–143Nd isotope systematics. Modeled View the MathML source [REE] from lattice-strain theory reconciles only the ca. 3920 Ma zircons with the oldest component that also preserves strong positive Eu anomalies. Magmas which gave rise to the somewhat older (inherited) ca. 4020 Ma AGC zircon age population formed at ∼IW (iron–wüstite) to <FMQ (fayalite–magnetite–quartz) oxygen fugacities. A ca. 3920 Ma emplacement age for the AGC is contemporaneous with bombardment of the inner solar system. Analytical bombardment simulations show that crustal re-working from the impact epoch potentially affected the precursors to the Acasta gneisses.

Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Component geochronology in the polyphase ca. 3920 Ma Acasta Gneiss
Series title Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta
DOI 10.1016/j.gca.2014.02.019
Volume 133
Year Published 2014
Language English
Publisher Elsevier
Contributing office(s) Astrogeology Science Center
Description 29 p.
First page 68
Last page 96
Online Only (Y/N) N
Additional Online Files (Y/N) N
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