U-Pb ages and source composition by Hf-isotope and trace-element analysis of detrital zircons in Permian sandstone and modern sand from southwestern Australia and a review of the paleogeographical and denudational history of the Yilgarn Craton

John J. Veevers*, A. Saeed, Elena A. Belousova, W. L. Griffin

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

    247 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    Detrital zircons from the Permian Collie Coal Measures and modern sands on the northern part of the Albany Province have been analysed for U-Pb ages by a laser ablation microprobe-inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometer (LAM-ICPMS) and for Hf-isotope compositions by a laser ablation microprobe multi-collector inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometer (LAM-MC-ICPMS). Trace elements were determined by analysis on the electron microprobe (EMP) and the ICPMS's. This combination of techniques makes it possible to determine for each grain not only the age but the nature and source of the host magma, whether crustal or juvenile mantle, and a model age (T DM) based on a depleted-mantle source, which gives a minimum age for the source material of the magma from which the zircon crystallised. The integrated analysis, applied to suites of detrital zircon, gives a more distinctive, and more easily interpreted, picture of crustal evolution in the provenance area than age data alone. Zircons from Permian and Triassic sediments already analysed for U-Pb ages by a sensitive high-resolution ion microprobe (SHRIMP) were also analysed for Hf isotopes and trace elements. Zircons from Collie and Permian and Early Triassic rocks of the northern Perth Basin have an age spectrum with a peak at about 1200 Ma that can be traced to the Albany Province. Differences, however, in Hf-isotope composition indicate that the Collie Coal Measures and the northern Perth Basin sandstones were not derived from the northern part of the Albany Province or from the coastal strip of felsic granitoids. The Perth Basin samples have a second peak age of 600-500 Ma that can be traced to the Leeuwin Block. One of the modern sands has a major peak at 2616 Ma that can be traced to the Yilgarn Craton. Compiled with previously published U-Pb zircon age spectra, the analyses provide insights into the paleogeographical history. The Yilgarn Craton sloped from the north at 1700 Ma, from the southeast at 1350-1140 and 490 Ma, its eastern part to the east at 300 Ma, and the southern part to the northwest from the Albany Province at 300-255 Ma. Denudational data from apatite fission-track analysis and vitrinite-reflectance studies suggest that the Yilgarn Craton was covered by a ∼5-km-thick blanket of Permian and Mesozoic sedimentary rock that was almost entirely removed by the Cenozoic, possibly because the craton was situated between the shoulders of rift systems that grew into the eastern and southeastern Indian Ocean. Ordovician, Permian, Early Triassic, and Quaternary sediment of the Perth Basin came from Proterozoic orogens. Only the Late Permian sample contains significant populations of Archean (Yilgarn) zircons but whether they came direct from the craton or were recycled from the postulated sedimentary cover is not known. The increased influx of sediment during the Jurassic matched by a peak in the denudation rate would seem to require a primary supply from the craton. This question could be resolved by dating zircon from the rapidly accumulated Jurassic formations.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)245-279
    Number of pages35
    JournalEarth-Science Reviews
    Volume68
    Issue number3-4
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - Jan 2005

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