Discordant Cambrian U-Pb ages of questionable reliability for metamor-phosed plutonic rocks in the central Appalachian Piedmont of northern Virginia, Maryland, and the District of Columbia have led to different regional geologic interpretations and controversies. In this study, we use the sensitive high resolution ion microprobe (SHRIMP) for dating 25-m diameter areas on individual zircons from Piedmont granitoids in an effort to resolve previous controversial ages. Cathodoluminescence images of zoning within the zircons are used to select pristine areas of cores and overgrowths for dating and to help interpret the results. For comparison, hand-picked fractions of zircons from most of the samples were also dated by the conventional isotope dilution thermal ionization mass spectrometry (TIMS) U-Pb method. The combined SHRIMP and TIMS results of this study demonstrate that the Dale City Quartz Monzonite, Norbeck Intrusive Suite, Kensington Tonalite, Goldvein pluton, Lake Jackson pluton, Falls Church Intrusive Suite, Occoquan Granite (main batholith and satellite Bull Run Marina pluton), Georgetown Intrusive Suite, Dalecarlia Intrusive Suite, and related granitoids are parts of an extensive Early to Middle Ordovician magmatic arc. Emplacement of these plutons from about 485 to 450 Ma generally was contemporaneous with major regional deformation and metamorphism, called the Taconic orogeny in rocks of the northern Appalachians. The Ordovician ages supersede most of the discordant Cambrian(?) to Neoproterozoic dates that previously suggested a Potomac or Penobscot orogeny in Piedmont rocks of the Potomac Valley, raising questions about the nature and timing of that event. The Devonian Guilford Granite crosscuts all structures, providing a minimum age for these Paleozoic events.
Additional publication details
|Publication Subtype||Journal Article|
|Title||SHRIMP and Conventional UPb ages of Ordovician granites and tonalites in the central Appalachian Piedmont: Implications for Paleozoic tectonic events|
|Series title||American Journal of Science|
|Google Analytic Metrics||Metrics page|