Age and nature of 560-520 Ma calc-alkaline granitoids of Biarjmand, northeast Iran

insights into Cadomian arc magmatism in northern Gondwana

Hadi S. Moghadam*, Xian Hua Li, Robert J. Stern, Jose F. Santos, Ghasem Ghorbani, Mehrdad Pourmohsen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

33 Citations (Scopus)


The Biarjmand granitoids and granitic gneisses in northeast Iran are part of the Torud-Biarjmand metamorphic complex, where previous zircon U-Pb geochronology show ages of ca. 554-530 Ma for orthogneissic rocks. Our new U-Pb zircon ages confirm a Cadomian age and show that the granitic gneiss is ~30 million years older (561.3 ± 4.7 Ma) than intruding granitoids (522.3 ± 4.2 Ma; 53707 ± 4.7 Ma). Cadomian magmatism in Iran was part of an approximately 100-million-year-long episode of subduction-related arc and back-arc magmatism, which dominated the whole northern Gondwana margin, from Iberia to Turkey and Iran. Major REE and trace element data show that these granitoids have calc-alkaline signatures. Their zircon O (δ18O = 6.2-8.9‰) and Hf (-7.9 to +5.5; one point with εHf ~ -17.4) as well as bulk rock Nd isotopes (εNd(t) = -3 to -6.2) show that these magmas were generated via mixing of juvenile magmas with an older crust and/or melting of middle continental crust. Whole-rock Nd and zircon Hf model ages (1.3-1.6 Ga) suggest that this older continental crust was likely to have been Mesoproterozoic or even older. Our results, including variable zircon εHf(t) values, inheritance of old zircons and lack of evidence for juvenile Cadomian igneous rocks anywhere in Iran, suggest that the geotectonic setting during late Ediacaran and early Cambrian time was a continental magmatic arc rather than back-arc for the evolution of northeast Iran Cadomian igneous rocks.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1492-1509
Number of pages18
JournalInternational Geology Review
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 9 Sep 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • active continental magmatism
  • Cadomian
  • Iran
  • U-Pb zircon geochronology
  • zircon O-Hf isotopes

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