Detrital zircon geochronology of quartzose metasedimentary rocks from parautochthonous North America, east-central Alaska

Lithosphere
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Abstract

We report eight new U-Pb detrital zircon ages for quartzose metasedimentary rocks from four lithotectonic units of parautochthonous North America in east-central Alaska: the Healy schist, Keevy Peak Formation, and Sheep Creek Member of the Totatlanika Schist in the northern Alaska Range, and the Butte assemblage in the northwestern Yukon-Tanana Upland. Excepting 1 of 3 samples from the Healy schist, all have dominant detrital zircon populations of 1.9–1.8 Ga and a subordinate population of 2.7–2.6 Ga. Three zircons from Totatlanika Schist yield the youngest age of ca. 780 Ma. The anomalous Healy schist sample has abundant 1.6–0.9 Ga detrital zircon, as well as populations at 2.0–1.8 Ga and 2.7–2.5 Ga that overlap the ages from the rest of our samples; it has a minimum age population of ca. 1007 Ma.

Detrital zircon age populations from all but the anomalous sample are statistically similar to those from (1) other peri-Laurentian units in east-central Alaska; (2) the Snowcap assemblage in Yukon, basement of the allochthonous Yukon-Tanana terrane; (3) Neoproterozoic to Ordovician Laurentian passive margin strata in southern British Columbia, Canada; and (4) Proterozoic Laurentian Sequence C strata of northwestern Canada. Recycling of zircon from the Paleoproterozoic Great Bear magmatic zone in the Wopmay orogen and its Archean precursors could explain both the Precambrian zircon populations and arc trace element signatures of our samples. Zircon from the anomalous Healy schist sample resembles that in Nation River Formation and Adams Argillite in eastern Alaska, suggesting recycling of detritus in those units.

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Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Detrital zircon geochronology of quartzose metasedimentary rocks from parautochthonous North America, east-central Alaska
Series title Lithosphere
DOI 10.1130/L672.1
Volume 9
Issue 6
Year Published 2017
Language English
Publisher Geological Society of America
Contributing office(s) Geology, Minerals, Energy, and Geophysics Science Center
Description 28 p.
First page 927
Last page 952
Country Canada, United States
State Alaska, British Columbia, Yukon Territory