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New detrital zircon age and trace element evidence for 1450 Ma igneous zircon sources in East

Author(s): Paulsen, Timothy; Deering, Chad; Sliwinski, Jakub; Bachmann, Olivier; Guillong, Marcel

Publication Date: 2017-10

Originally published in: Research 300, http://doi.org/10.1016/j.precamres.2017.07.011

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Precambrian Research

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New detrital zircon age and trace element evidence for 1450 Ma igneous zircon sources in East Antarctica ⇑ Timothy Paulsen a, , Chad Deering b, Jakub Sliwinski c, Olivier Bachmann c, Marcel Guillong c a Department of Geology, University of Wisconsin Oshkosh, Oshkosh, WI 54901, USA b Department of Geological and Mining Engineering and Sciences, Michigan Technological University, Houghton, MI 49931, USA c Institute of Geochemistry and Petrology, Department of Sciences, ETH Zurich, Zurich 8092, CH, Switzerland article info abstract

Article history: U-Pb detrital zircon age and trace element data from a sample of the Beacon Received 25 November 2016 Supergroup provide new evidence for 1450 Ma zircon sources in Antarctica. These grains yield a Revised 11 July 2017 dominant 1450 Ma (, Calymmian) age probability peak with U/Th ratios suggesting they Accepted 13 July 2017 primarily formed from magmatic processes, also consistent with the presence of grains with oscillatory Available online 14 July 2017 zonation. Determination of zircon parent rock types using trace element proxies reveals that the zircon grains are likely predominantly derived from granitoid rocks, with subsidiary, yet significant contribu- Keywords: tions from mafic and alkaline igneous rocks. These results are consistent with a ca. 1440 Ma Detrital zircon (Mesoproterozoic, Calymmian) granitoid glacial erratic and similar aged detrital zircon found elsewhere U-Pb age Trace element in the that suggest a continuation of the trans-Laurentian A-type granitoid belt Rock type into Antarctica and, therefore, a 1400 Ma SWEAT-like reconstruction of the continental landmasses. Ó 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

1. Introduction to those found in the trans-Laurentian 1400 Ma (Mesoprotero- zoic, Calymmian) A-type granitoid belt (Fig. 1A) (Goodge and U-Pb detrital zircon age analyses yielded a surprising result Vervoort, 2006; Goodge et al., 2008). The possible continuation of when first applied to thick sequences of continental-derived sand- this granitoid belt into the assumes regional stone found along the Pacific- margin (Ireland et al., significance because it potentially provides a critical piercing point 1998; Goodge et al., 2002). Instead of confirming that many of for supercontinental reconstructions like the SWEAT these sandstone units are late (750–650 Ma) rift hypothesis (Dalziel, 1991; Hoffman, 1991; Moores, 1991). Support to passive margin sedimentary deposits (Goodge et al., 2002; for a granitoid provenance for some of the 1400 Ma detrital zircon Cooper et al., 2011) – a notion that forms part of the basis from grains comes from the discovery of a glacially transported 1440 Ma continental reconstructions in which East Antarctica was con- (Mesoproterozoic, Calymmian) A-type granite cobble recovered nected to in the Late Precambrian, for example, the along the edge of the East Antarctic ice sheet in the central SWEAT (Southwest United States-East Antarctica) hypothesis Transantarctic Mountains (Fig. 1)(Goodge et al., 2008). This clast (Moores, 1991; Stump, 1992) – these authors found that many of also possesses an epsilon-hafnium initial value of +7 and an the sedimentary successions are too young and instead represent epsilon-neodymium initial value of +4 making it similar to plutonic flysch derived from late Neoproterozoic-early (650– rocks within the Laurentian intrusive belt (Goodge et al., 2008). 480 Ma) Gondwana mobile belts (Ireland et al., 1998; Goodge However, importantly, there is a general paucity of information et al., 2002; Myrow et al., 2002). However, these studies also dis- about the existence of such rock types outside of the central covered a subsidiary ca. 1400 Ma (Mesoproterozoic, Calymmian) Transantarctic Mountains. The intent of this research note is to zircon age population that was postulated to have been derived present new detrital zircon U-Pb age and trace element data for from proximal source rocks of the East Antarctic shield, which pre- a Devonian sandstone sample from the south sently lies underneath the East Antarctic ice sheet (Fig. 1)(Goodge sector of the Transantarctic Mountains that expands et al., 2002). These detrital zircon grains yielded Hf isotopic values the area over which significant 1450–1400 Ma (Mesoproterozoic, suggestive of an origin from eroded granitoid rocks that are similar Calymmian) zircon age populations are known to occur (Fig. 1). We also present an analysis of trace element data from these zircon grains with the purpose of identifying the most likely source rock ⇑ Corresponding author. E-mail address: [email protected] (T. Paulsen). types within which the detrital zircon grains crystallized. The http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.precamres.2017.07.011 0301-9268/Ó 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved. 54 T. Paulsen et al. / Precambrian Research 300 (2017) 53–58

Fig. 1. (A) Continental reconstruction following the SWEAT hypothesis (Moores, 1991; Dalziel, 1997) showing the trans-Laurentian A-type granitoid belt (white dots) and their possible continuation into Antarctica. White dot in Antarctica shows the location of a previously discovered ca. 1440 (Mesoproterozoic, Calymmian) granitoid glacial erratic; star symbol in Antarctica shows the approximate location of the sample locality for the sandstone analyzed in this paper. Figure modified from Hoffman (1991) and Goodge et al. (2008). (B) Physiographic map of the Antarctic showing the location of previous discoveries of ca. 1440 Ma (Mesoproterozoic, Calymmian) granitoid glacial erratic and detrital zircon grains within the central Transantarctic Mountains. Also shown is the location of the Devonian sandstone sample that yielded a significant population of ca. 1450 Ma (Mesoproterozoic, Calymmian) detrital zircon analyzed in this paper. Light gray areas are ice shelves, whereas dark gray indicates rock outcrop. Contours are in meters. White arrow near PRR32746 sample locality shows general paleoflow to the northeast from the East Antarctic shield recorded by the Aztec . Image modified from public domain NASA figure available at https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Antarctica.svg. results have the potential to better inform future studies that from the Devonian Aztec Siltstone of the Taylor Group a few aspire to constrain supercontinental reconstructions (e.g., Zhao meters below an that separates it from the overlying et al., 2004; Goodge et al., 2008; Li et al., 2008, 2014). Weller Measures of the Victoria Group (personal The methods used for zircon separation, U-Pb age analyses, and communication). The Taylor Group is a sequence of Devonian sili- trace element analyses are presented as supplementary text in ciclastic sedimentary rocks deposited within intermontane or suc- Appendix A. Supplementary Tables 1 and 2 list the new U-Pb age cessor basins upon the Kukri Erosion Surface, which developed and trace element analytical data for grains that yielded age anal- during a period of post-orogenic uplift and erosion that marked yses that are <15% discordant (by comparison of 206Pb/238U and the terminal stages of the 590–480 Ma (Neoproterozoic- 206Pb/207Pb ages) or <5% reverse discordant. We use the 2015 Inter- ) Ross orogeny (Isbell, 1999; Goodge et al., 2004; national Chronostratigraphic Chart timescale (Cohen et al., 2013) Rossetti et al., 2011; Hagen-Peter et al., 2016). in the discussion of the results below. Zircon grains from the sample are typically subrounded, and dis- play either oscillatory zoning or patchy and unzoned interiors by cathodoluminescence image analysis; occasional xenocrystic cores 2. Results were also found (Fig. 2). The zircon population shows a polymodal age spectrum indicating derivation from an age-varied source Sample PRR32746 is a fine- to medium-grained sandstone col- (Fig. 3A) or from a provenance with many ages. The cumulative lected by Anne Grunow in 1988 from the Devonian- Beacon zircon age suite (n = 195) from the sample ranges from 2847 Ma Supergroup on the southeast ridge of Aztec Mountain (À77.802 °S, () to 514 Ma (, Series 2). The dominant age 160.552 °E) near the head of Taylor Glacier (http://research.bpcrc. cluster ranges from 1722 to 1039 Ma (-Mesoproter osu.edu/rr/collection/object/46093). The sample was collected ozoic, ; n = 148). This age cluster has four peaks in age T. Paulsen et al. / Precambrian Research 300 (2017) 53–58 55

Fig. 2. Representative cathodoluminescence image of zircon grains with laser spots analyzed from sample PRR32746 and their U-Pb ages. probability at 1665 Ma (n = 9), 1450 Ma (n = 81), 1201 Ma (n = 13), and 1065 Ma (n = 3). Three age clusters also occur at 983–927 Ma (Neoproterozoic, ; n = 3), 719–671 Ma (Neoproterozoic, ; n = 4), and 613–509 Ma (Neoproterozoic, - Cambrian, Series 3). These clusters have five age probability peaks at 952 Ma (n = 3), 713 Ma (n = 3), 688 Ma (n = 3), 578 Ma (n = 12), Fig. 3. (A) Probability density plot and histograms (Ludwig et al., 2003) of detrital and 524 Ma (n = 5). zircon U-Pb ages collected from the Devonian Beacon Supergroup sandstone sample Ninety-eight percent of the U-Pb age analyses that are <15% dis- PRR32746, and (B) with respect to stacked relative age probability diagrams of 650– 480 Ma U-Pb igneous rock crystallization ages (black) and pre-Devonian metased- cordant or <5% reverse discordant have U/Th ratios of <10 suggest- imentary rock detrital zircon ages from the south Victoria Land region. Detrital ing the zircon grains we analyzed primarily grew during magmatic zircon ages are compiled from Goodge et al. (2004), Stump et al. (2007), Cooper processes (Rubatto, 2002; Hoskin and Schaltegger, 2003), a result et al. (2011), and Paulsen et al. (2015). Volcanic and plutonic U-Pb crystallization also consistent with the presence of zircon grains with oscillatory ages are compiled from Rowell et al. (1993), Hall et al. (1995), Encarnación and zoned interiors (Fig. 2)(Corfu et al., 2003). CART classification of Grunow (1996), Cooper et al. (1997), Cox et al. (2000), Cook and Craw (2001), Allibone and Wysoczanski (2002), Read et al. (2002), Mellish et al. (2002), the trace element analyses (Belousova et al., 2002) from the 191 Wysoczanski and Allibone (2004), Cottle and Cooper (2006a), Cottle and Cooper age concordant zircon grains with trace element U/Th ratios <10 (2006b), Stump et al. (2006), Read (2010), Cooper et al. (2011), Martin et al. (2015), yields the following protolith rock types: 145 granitoid, 19 mafic Hagen-Peter et al. (2015), Hagen-Peter and Cottle (2016). (dolerite-basalt), and 28 alkaline (7 syenite, 5 carbonatite, and 16 syenite pegmatite/nepheline syenite). Zircon classified as grains metasedimentary rocks of the Ross-Delamerian orogenic belt are derived from granitoid rocks yield age clusters and probability typically dominated by 1200–900 Ma and 700–500 Ma zircon age peaks that are similar to the overall U-Pb zircon age data set, with populations (Goodge et al., 2004; Wysoczanski and Allibone, a primary 1449 Ma probability peak (Fig.4A). Zircon classified as 2004; Stump et al., 2007; Cooper et al., 2011; Paulsen et al., grains derived from mafic rocks yield a single 1484 Ma (n = 7) 2015, 2016), and these rocks serve as the country rocks to ca. age probability peak (Fig.4B) while those classified as 565–480 Ma (Neoproterozoic-Ordovician) Ross age granitoid rocks carbonatite-alkaline show probability peaks at 1465 Ma (n = 9), in the south Victoria Land region (Fig. 3B) (Encarnación and 1207 Ma (n = 7), 596 Ma (n = 4), and 582 Ma (n = 3) (Fig.4C). Four Grunow, 1996; Hagen-Peter et al., 2015; Hagen-Peter and Cottle, zircon grains (1521, 579, 528, and 519 Ma) yield metamorphic 2016). Previous detrital zircon analyses of Permian- sam- U/Th ratios (>10), but these do not give statistically significant ples from the Beacon Supergroup (in the Queen Maud Mountains, age clusters or probability peaks (Fig.4D). central Transantarctic Mountains, and north Victoria Land; Fig. 1B) commonly yielded large 1200–900 Ma (Mesoproterozoic-Neopro 3. Discussion and conclusion terozoic) and 700–500 Ma (Neoproterozoic-Cambrian) zircon age populations that pointed to significant zircon recycling from these Our analysis of the Devonian sandstone sample indicates, older rock assemblages (Elliot and Fanning, 2008; Goodge and surprisingly, that the sandstone is dominated by a ca. 1450 Ma Fanning, 2010; Elsner et al., 2013; Elliot et al., 2015). Volcanic peb- (Mesoproterozoic, Calymmian) detrital zircon age population. This bles from the basal portion of the Devonian Taylor Group in south is unexpected because the erosion of granitoid rocks and their Victoria Land yield 497–482 Ma (Cambrian, -Ordovician, metasedimentary country rocks within the 590–480 Ma Lower) crystallization ages (Wysoczanski et al., 2003). The Ross- (Neoproterozoic-Ordovician) Ross orogenic belt produced the Delamerian age granitoids and their metasedimentary country Kukri Erosion Surface on which Devonian sedimentary rocks were rocks, therefore, provide potential sources for the younger ca. deposited (Isbell, 1999). Late Neoproterozoic-early Paleozoic 1200–500 Ma (Mesoproterozoic-Cambrian) zircon age population 56 T. Paulsen et al. / Precambrian Research 300 (2017) 53–58

within our sample. While detrital zircon analyses of late Neoproterozoic-early Paleozoic metasedimentary rocks of the Ross-Delamerian orogenic belt have yielded ca. 1450 Ma (Mesoproterozoic, Calymmian) zircon age populations, these tend to be subsidiary to the dominant 1200–500 Ma (Mesoproterozoic-Cambrian) zircon age populations (Goodge et al., 2004). Three metasedimentary rocks from the central Transantarctic Mountains have yielded large 1600–1300 Ma (Mesoproterozoic, Calymmian-) detrital zircon age popu- lations (Goodge et al., 2002, 2004), but detrital zircon age results for these samples yielded older 1171–958 Ma (Mesoproterozoic, Stenian-Neoproterozoic, Tonian) maximum depositional ages that do not preclude deposition prior to the Ross-Delamerian orogeny. Sedimentological analyses suggest deposition of the Aztec Silt- stone within an alluvial plain with sandstone paleocurrent data indicating northeast-directed flow off of the Antarctic shield (Barrett, 1991; Bradshaw, 2013). The 1450 Ma (Mesoproterozoic, Calymmian) zircon grains found in our sandstone sample, therefore, were likely directly sourced from similar age igneous rocks of the East Antarctic shield or are recycled from sedimentary rocks in East Antarctica that contain this anomalous age population, which themselves may reflect derivation from proximal 1450 Ma (Meso- proterozoic, Calymmian) igneous source rocks. Determination of zircon parent rock types using trace element proxies reveals that the majority of zircon grains are most likely derived from granitoid rocks, similar to previous interpretations (Goodge et al., 2008). However, trace element classification also indicates the presence of a significant population of zircon grains likely derived from mafic and alkaline source rocks. Mafic igneous rocks commonly dominate large igneous provinces, which sometimes also show smaller accompanying ultramafic, alkaline, and felsic assemblages (Ernst et al., 2008, 2013). Large igneous provinces emplaced on several from 1600 to 1300 Ma (Mesoproterozoic, Calymmian- Ectasian) have been associated with the break-up of the 1800– 1500 Ma (Paleoproterozoic, -Mesoproterozoic, Calym- mian) Nuna (Columbia) supercontinent (Ernst et al., 2008). The Hf isotopic signatures of detrital zircon grains from central Transantarctic Mountains yielded 2000–1600 Ma (Paleoprotero- zoic, -Mesoproterozoic, Calymmian) depleted mantle model ages that match Proterozoic crust in southwest Laurentia and which may occur in East Antarctica (Goodge et al., 2008). Mafic and alkaline igneous rocks are associated with the ca. 1450 Ma (Mesoproterozoic, Calymmian) magmatism within the Laurentian igneous belt (Frost et al., 2002; Dewane and Van Schmus, 2007) and the new data presented herein suggest that these rock types may also comprise a part of the East Antarctic shield.


This research used a rock sample provided by the United States Polar Rock Repository. The authors thank John Veevers and Nata- sha Wodicka for helpful reviews that improved this manuscript. The authors acknowledge support from the Penson Endowed Pro- fessorship and Faculty Development Program at the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh and the Scientific Center for Optical and Elec- tron Microscopy (ScopeM) of the Swiss Federal Institute of Tech- nology ETHZ.

Appendix A. Supplementary data

Supplementary data associated with this article can be found, in Fig. 4. Probability density plot for U-Pb ages of zircon grains from sample PRR32746 classified as being derived from granitoid (A), mafic (B), alkaline (C), the online version, at http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.precamres.2017. and metamorphic (D) parent rocks based on trace element data. 07.011. T. Paulsen et al. / Precambrian Research 300 (2017) 53–58 57

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