In-situ harnium and lead isotope analyses of detrital zircons from the Devonian sedimentary basin NE Greenland: a record of repeated crustal reworking

T. L. Knudsen*, W. L. Griffin, E. H. Hartz, A. Andresen, S. E. Jackson

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    98 Citations (Scopus)


    An intramontane collapse basin developed within the hanging wall above the large-scale extensional Fjord Regional Detachment of NE Greenland in middle to late Devonian times. The continental clastic sediments within the basin are derived locally from Laurentian source rocks, which makes them well suited for a study of the crustal evolution of the source terrain. This is the first integrated in-situ Pb and Hf isotope study to be presented, and zircon data on a selected sandstone from the basin are combined with Sm-Nd whole-rock data on sand/siltstones. Nd whole-rock ages of two samples of sandstones and a siltstone are 2.0-2.1 Ga. Peak frequencies of zircon 207Pb/206Pb ages at 1,764-1,912 Ma, and 176Hf/177Hf values at 0.28142-0.28163 (tDM = 2.47 to 2.06) for the sandstone suggest the generation of a considerable volume of juvenile continental crust in the ultimate zircon provenance at 1.9-2.0 Ga. The Hf isotopic compositions of Archaean zircons in the sandstone are distinct from those of the source materials of Proterozoic protocrust at 1.9-2.0 Ga, but zircons with elevated Hf-tDM ages of up to 2.47 Ga can be related to a component of Archaean crust or reworked Archaean material in the ultimate zircon source area. Zircon 207Pb/206Pb ages are also recorded at 1,480-1,572, 1,318 and 1,014 Ma (Grenvillian). The Hf isotope compositions of these zircons are consistent with reworking of the Proterozoic protocrust at these times, with little or no juvenile input. The Proterozoic zircons form two distinct groups defined by 176Yb/177Hf > c0.05055 and 176Yb/177Hf < 0.03301, and the latter group overlaps with Yb-Hf isotope data on the Archaean zircons. The two groups may represent zircons derived from evolved granites and intermediate to mildly felsic rocks, respectively. The repeated reworking of the continental crust also comprised erosion and deposition of sediments in the Proterozoic (the Krummedal sequence and the Eleonore Bay Supergroup, EBS) and intrusion of Caledonian anatectic granites in the EBS, which both represent provenance components to the Devonian sediments. No discrete Caledonian Pb-Pb zircon ages are recorded, but Caledonian magmatism may be represented by strongly discordant zircons which form arrays with a lower intercept age at ca. 400 Ma and an upper intercept at 1,600-2,000 Ma. One undated zircon records a 176Hf/177Hf ratio of 0.282218, higher than that of the Proterozoic protocrust in Caledonian/late-Caledonian times (380-450 Ma) which may represent a Caledonian mantle contribution.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)83-94
    Number of pages12
    JournalContributions to Mineralogy and Petrology
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 2001

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