Zircons traced from the 700-500 Ma Transgondwanan Supermountains and the Gamburtsev Subglacial Mountains to the Ordovician Lachlan Orogen, Cretaceous Ceduna Delta, and modern Channel Country, Central-Southern Australia

J. J. Veevers*, E. A. Belousova, A. Saeed

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

11 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

We test the hypothesis that the Transgondwanan Supermountains at the collision of East and West Gondwanaland were the provenance of a vast turbiditic fan that stretched alongside the East Gondwanaland margin to eastern Australia which, in turn, became the provenance of sediment shed into interior Australia to the Cretaceous Ceduna Delta in central-southern Australia and the modern Channel Country of central Australia. We employ an integrated analysis (U-Pb, Lu-Hf isotopes and trace elements) of detrital zircons in the Ceduna Delta and Channel Country. The main properties of the detrital zircons are U-Pb ages of 700-500 Ma (model ages TDMC 2.5-1.0 Ga; εHf +10 to -20) and 1300-1000 Ma ages (TDMC 2.7-1.3 Ga; εHf +4 to -17), in hosts of mafic granitoids with alkaline affinity. Zircons with these properties can be traced back through the drainage/paleo-slope to the intermediate provenances of the Ordovician turbidites and S-type granitoids of the Lachlan Orogen, then up-paleoslope to the primary or secondary provenance of the ancestral Gamburtsev Subglacial Mountains, and finally to the primary provenance of the Transgondwanan Supermountains atop the 700-500 Ma East African-Antarctic Orogen. Another primary provenance, the 140-95 Ma Whitsunday Volcanic Province/New Caledonia arc in northeastern Australia, also shed sediment across Australia to the Ceduna Delta. We suggest that the primary sediment from the 700-500 Ma East African-Antarctic Orogen and the ancestral Gamburtsev Subglacial Mountains was shed into a deep-sea super-fan to (1) Ordovician turbidites in southeast Australia, recycled by melting of the turbidites to (2) 450 Ma S-type granites in the Lachlan Orogen, and (3) finally deposited, together with volcanogenic sediment from northeast Australia, in the Ceduna Delta. Zircons in the Channel Country and the Ceduna Delta have essentially the same properties, and indicate that the northeastern Australian provenance was largely unchanged over the past 100 Ma.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)115-141
Number of pages27
JournalSedimentary Geology
Volume334
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2016

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