U-Pb dating of detrital zircon from the Mt. Alfred area, Yilgarn Craton, Western Australia

Tuesday, 6th December 2016
10h00, DeGeersalen, Hus Y, GeoBuilding, Stockholm University

Main supervisor:
Martin Whitehouse, Swedish Museum of Natural History
Co-supervisors: Alexander Nemchin, Curtin University, Western Australia and
Victoria Pease, Department of Geological Sciences, Stockholm University

Jenny Andersson, Geological Survey of Sweden, Uppsala
Åke Johansson, Swedish Museum of Natural History, Stockholm

Hadean and Paleo-Eoarchean aged detrital zircon provide a rare glimpse into the nature of the early Earth. Thus, the characterisation of new localities with rocks that host Hadean and Paleo-Eoarchean zircon provide invaluable insight into the Earth’s early crust. We report high spatial resolution SIMS U-Th-Pb data in detrital zircon from five samples of the Mt. Alfred Archean quartzite located in the Illaara Greenstone Belt, Yilgarn Craton in Western Australia. To date, only two studies have published detrital age data for this locality (Wyche et al., 2004; Thern and Nelson, 2012). A total of 487 spots in 450 zircon grains have been analysed for U-Th-Pb and the internal structure of the grains has been studied by cathodoluminescence imaging. Concordant 207Pb/206Pb ages range between 3109 ± 17 and 3918 ± 16 Ma (2σ), with three main age peaks at ca. 3640, 3690 and 3760 Ma. 207Pb/206Pb ages of up to 4067 ± 5 Ma were found, but these were highly discordant. At least two Pb-loss events are evident during the Neoarchean and Permian-Triassic. The Neoarchean event is implied from highly metamict zircon cores producing 207Pb/206Pb ages ca. 2.7-2.8 Ga, younger than a crosscutting quartz-tourmaline vein formed at 2.94 Ga. Single-grain discordia trends define the more recent Pb-loss event, with eight grains producing a weighted average lower intercept age of 224 ± 35 Ma (2σ).
We propose that the similarity of ages between the Mt. Alfred detrital zircon age distribution and the Meeberrie gneiss of the Narryer Gneiss Complex (NGC) imply the distal transport of these sediments over ca. 300 km, or the previous existence of NGC-like rocks near the Illaara greenstone belt. The noticeable lack of detrital zircon aged ca. 3.34 Ga as observed in all other detrital populations of the Illaara Formation suggests a different provenance for the Mt. Alfred quartzites. 


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