Isotopic and geochemical constraints on the Paleoproterozoic Hutchison Group, southern Australia

Implications for Paleoproterozoic continental reconstructions

Michael Szpunar*, Martin Hand, Karin Barovich, Elizabeth Jagodzinski, Elena Belousova

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

50 Citations (Scopus)


Geochemical, Sm-Nd isotopic, and U-Pb-Lu-Hf zircon analyses reveal the sedimentary succession formerly recognised as the Hutchison Group consists of three temporally and isotopically distinct groups, divided by a crustal-scale shear zone (Kalinjala Mylonite Zone).The BIF endowed, newly recognised Middleback Group lies to the east of the Kalinjala Mylonite Zone and has a provenance consistent with uniquely Archean source rocks, including highly evolved e{open}Nd(1790Ma) values, positive Eu anomalies, flat REE patterns and no detrital zircon younger than 2570Ma. The depositional age of this Group is likely to be c. 2500Ma and is a possible temporal equivalent to Late Archean successions in the Gawler Craton and the BIF-endowed Hamersley Group in the Pilbara Craton, Western Australia. Two groups are recognised to the west of the Kalinjala Mylonite Zone. The older of the metasedimentary successions, here termed the Darke Peak Group, consists of felsic volcanic rocks, quartzite, pelite and carbonate rocks deposited at c. 1865. Ma. The volcanic rocks have a geochemical signature of enriched, alkaline, intracontinental magmatism with A-type affinities, and mark the initiation of Paleoproterozoic rifting. Sources to the metasedimentary component of this Group were dominated by highly evolved, intra-crustally reworked, c. 2500. Ma and c. 2000. Ma felsic rocks, consistent with a provenance dominated by local basement complexes of the Late Archean to Early Proterozoic Gawler Craton. A succession of dominantly psammitic and pelitic units, here termed the Cleve Group, disconformably overlies the Darke Peak Group and was deposited between 1780Ma and 1730Ma. Provenance to the Cleve Group included abundant 1850Ma and 1790Ma zircons, and had a geochemical composition consistent with felsic, upper crustal sources which were significantly less evolved than the Darke Peak Group. The more radiogenic initial e{open}Nd values recorded in the Cleve Group require the input of juvenile felsic material not easily reconcilable with sources within the Southern Australian Proterozoic. Provenance data strengthen Proterozoic assembly models which suggest that the Southern Australian Proterozoic was contiguous with components of either the North Australian Craton or the southern Pilbara Craton by the time of deposition of the Cleve Succession (c. 1780Ma). The data are also internally consistent with reconstructions of Nuna which place southern Laurentia proximal to the southeast margin of Proterozoic Australia at c. 1800Ma.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)99-126
Number of pages28
JournalPrecambrian Research
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - May 2011

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