New isotopic dating of mafic dikes in the southern Tobacco Root Mountains of southwestern Montana provides evidence for two distinct episodes of subparallel Proterozoic mafic magmatism separated by about 700 m.y. Previously published geochemical data from dikes in the southern Tobacco Root Mountains had identified three geochemical groups (termed groups A, B, and C) with apparent Rb–Sr ages of 1455 Ma (group A) and 1100–1120 Ma (groups B and C). Sm–Nd dating of a geochemical group A dike yields an age of 1448 ± 49 Ma that is interpreted to represent the emplacement age of the dikes. This age is similar to published U–Pb dates from mafic sills that intrude the nearby Mesoproterozoic Belt Supergroup and Laramide basement-cored uplifts of the Archean Wyoming Province. Paleomagnetic results from groups A and B dikes are similar, suggesting that the were emplaced at about the same time. We suggest that the mafic magmatism recorded by the southern Tobacco Root Mountains group A/C dikes at about 1450 Ma probably corresponds to continental extension that accompanied development of the Mesoproterozoic Belt Basin. U–Pb dating of baddeleyite from the group B dikes provides evidence for a younger magmatic event with an age of 782.4 ± 4.9 Ma (95% confidence; ±7.1 Ma incorporating uranium decay constant errors). This date is similar to isotopic dates from Neoproterozoic mafic dikes and sills exposed elsewhere in uplifts of the Rocky Mountain foreland and that intrude the Mesoproterozoic strata of the Belt Supergroup. Geochronologic data from elsewhere in the northern Cordillera and Canadian Shield indicate that the group B dikes in the southern Tobacco Root Mountains are part of a regional 780 Ma magmatic event that extended for more than 2400 km along the western margin of Laurentia. The origin of the magmatic event is not clear, but may be related to a mantle plume and crustal extension accompanying initial breakup of the supercontinent Rodinia and development of the proto-Pacific Ocean. No evidence of ca. 1100 Ma mafic magmatism in this part of the northern Cordillera was found.
|Publication Subtype||Journal Article|
|Title||Isotopic dating of Meso- and Neoproterozoic mafic magmatism in the southern Tobacco Root Mountains, Southwestern Montana|
|Series title||Precambrian Research|
|Contributing office(s)||Geosciences and Environmental Change Science Center|
|Other Geospatial||Tobacco Root Mountains|
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