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U-Pb zircon and monazite age constraints on granulite-facies metamorphism and deformation in the Strangways metamorphic complex (central Australia)


, : U-Pb zircon and monazite age constraints on granulite-facies metamorphism and deformation in the Strangways metamorphic complex (central Australia). Contributions to Mineralogy and Petrology 145(4): 406-423

The age of Proterozoic granulite facies metamorphism and deformation in the Strangways Metamorphic Complex (SMC) of central Australia is determined on zircon grown in syn-metamorphic and syn-deformational orthopyroxene-bearing, enderbitic, veins. SHRIMP zircon studies suggest that M1–M2 and the correlated periods of intense deformation (D1–D2) are part of a single tectonothermal event between 1,717±2 and 1,732±7 Ma. It is considered unlikely that the two metamorphic phases (M1, M2) suggested by earlier work represent separate events occurring within 10–25 Ma of each other. Previous higher estimates for the age of M1 granulite metamorphism in the SMC (Early Strangways event at ca. 1,770 Ma) based on U–Pb zircon dating of granitic, intrusive rocks, are not believed to relate to the metamorphism, but to represent pre-metamorphic intrusion ages. Conventional multi-grain U–Pb monazite analyses on high-grade metasediments from three widely spaced localities in the western SMC yield 207Pb/235U ages between 1,728±11 and 1,712±2 Ma. The age range of the monazites corresponds to the SHRIMP zircon ages in the granulitic veins and is interpreted to record monazite growth (prograde in the metasedimentary rocks). The data imply a maximum time-span of 30 Ma for high-grade metamorphism and deformation in the SMC. There is, thus, no evidence for an extremely long period of continuous high-temperature conditions from 1,770 to ca. 1,720 Ma as previously proposed. The results firmly establish that the SMC has a very different high-grade metamorphic history than the neighbouring Harts Range, where upper amphibolite facies metamorphism in the Palaeozoic caused widespread growth or recrystallization of monazite.

US$19.90

DOI: 10.1007/s00410-003-0460-3


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