Zircon U-Pb isotopic and geochemical study of metanorites from the chromite-mineralised Bacuri Mafic-Ultramafic Complex: insights of a Paleoarchean crust in the Amapá Block, Guyana Shield, Brazil

Carlos Alberto Spier*, Cesar Fonseca Ferreira Filho, Nathan Daczko

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    Abstract

    The age and tectonic history of the chromite-mineralised Bacuri Complex, a layered mafic–ultramafic intrusion emplaced into Archean terranes of the Guyana Shield in the Amazonian Craton, are here investigated. The stratigraphy of the Bacuri Complex consists of an Ultramafic Zone composed of interlayered metaperidotites and chromitites and two mafic zones composed of metamafic rocks (amphibolites). In this study we present whole-rock lithogeochemical data integrated with zircon U-Pb isotopic and trace-element data from amphibolites from the Mafic Zone. The investigated amphibolites consist of hornblende + plagioclase ± diopside ± biotite with whole-rock compositions like noritic rocks of Archean layered intrusions. These samples are representative of amphibolites with variable proportions of hornblende and plagioclase, interpreted as resulting from amphibolite facies metamorphism of interlayered norite and leuconorite. We suggest that progressive fractionation of a primitive parental magma led to the formation of plagioclase and orthopyroxene cumulates in the mafic zones. We found that zircons from three metanorite samples comprise euhedral crystals with oscillatory zoning (interpreted to preserve a magmatic crystallisation age), as well as variably recrystallised metamorphic zircons. Their U-Pb 207Pb/206Pb ages span over 682 million years, from 3628 Ma to 2942 Ma. Trace element data suggest that magmatic zircons precipitated from late-stage magmatic fluids at ∼ 3.34 Ga (3343 ± 3.5 Ma weighted average age, n = 48, MSWD = 1.3), which defines the Bacuri Complex as one the oldest and best-preserved layered intrusions known. We show that fluid-mediated coupled dissolution-precipitation recrystallisation during metamorphism altered the composition and ages of magmatic zircons. We could not accurately define the number and age of metamorphic events in the 2942–3379 Ma age interval of metamorphic or ‘disturbed’ zircon domains. Our results indicate that continental crust was already established in the Amazonian craton in the Paleoarchean and possibly in the Eoarchean and that it has been reworked since at least the Mesoarchean.

    Original languageEnglish
    JournalGondwana Research
    DOIs
    Publication statusAccepted/In press - 23 Sep 2021

    Keywords

    • Bacuri layered complex
    • Amazonian craton
    • Guyana Shield
    • Metamorphic zircon
    • Chromite deposits

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