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  • 1
    ISSN: 1432-0967
    Source: Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
    Topics: Geosciences
    Notes: Abstract The U−Pb age determinations of zircon and rutile from the Aar massif reveal a complex evolution of the Central Alpine basement. The oldest components are found in zircons of metasediments, which bear cores of Archean age; the U−Pb age of discordant prismatic zircons of the same rocks ranges between 580 and 680 Ma, an age that is typical for Pan-African metamorphism. The zircons are interpreted as Pan-African detritus with Archean inheritance. The provenance region of the Pan-African zircons is assumed to be a terrane of Gondwana-affinity, i.e. the W. African craton or the Pentevrian microplate. The Caledonian metamorphism left a pervasive structural imprint in amphibolite facies on the rocks of the Aar massif; it is dated at 456±2 and 445 Ma by zircons of a layered migmatitic gneiss and a migmatitic leucosome, respectively, both occurring in the northernmost zones of the massif. Hercynian metamorphism never exceeded greenschist-facies conditions and is recorded by zircon in a garnet-amphibolite and by rutile in a meta-psammite that yield an age of 330 Ma. Both zircon and rutile are considered to be products of retrograde mineral reactions and therefore do not date the peak conditions of Hercynian metamorphism. The Gastern granite at the western end of the Aar massif is a contaminated granite that intruded at 303±4 Ma, contemporaneously with the wide-spread late Hercynian post-collisional I-type magmatism. The study demonstrates the potential of isotope dilution U−Pb dating of single grains and microfractions in deciphering complex evolutionary histories of polymetamorphic terrains.
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  • 2
    Publication Date: 2019-02-22
    Description: The role of accessory minerals in the incongruent release of Hf and Pb during continental weathering and its implications for the generation of distinct seawater isotope compositions is subject of debate. While it has been suggested that radiogenic Hf and Pb isotope signatures released during the dissolution of rocks are controlled by the relative abundances of minerals with distinct isotope compositions and differences in their resistance to dissolution there has not been a comprehensive experimental investigation of these processes to date. We carried out systematic sequential leaching experiments on fresh and partly weathered granitic rock samples as well as separated zircons from the Central Aar Granite in Switzerland. Combined with major and rare earth element concentrations our new quantitative experimental data reveal systematic preferential release of radiogenic Nd, Hf and Pb isotopes primarily controlled by dissolution characteristics of the host rock's easily dissolvable accessory and major minerals, in particular apatite and sphene, during weak chemical weathering. Moreover, Pb isotope signatures of incipient weathering conditions, contrary to expectations, indicate initial congruent release of Pb from freshly exposed mineral surfaces that becomes subsequently incongruent. During more advanced chemical weathering stages, as well as enhanced physical weathering conditions, the dissolution of major minerals (i.e. feldspars) becomes dominant for Nd and Pb isotope signatures, whereas Hf isotopes are still dominated by contributions from highly radiogenic accessories. Additional leaching experiments of zircon separates were performed to test the specific role of zircons for Hf isotope compositions of riverine runoff. It is demonstrated that zircon is more efficiently dissolved when physical weathering is enhanced. This increased Hf release originating from partial dissolution of zircons, however, is quantitatively not sufficient to explain less radiogenic Hf isotope signatures in seawater during episodes of enhanced mechanical erosion alone. Moreover, the observed addition of Hf from the more congruent dissolution of the zircon-free fractions of the parent rock due to enhanced physical weathering indicate that these minerals also play an important role in controlling Hf isotope signatures released under deglacial conditions.
    Type: Article , PeerReviewed
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  • 3
    ISSN: 1432-0967
    Source: Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
    Topics: Geosciences
    Notes: Abstract This study presents U−Pb ages for zircon, titanite, allanite and epidote, and initial Hf isotopic compositions for zircon of Upper Carboniferous granites, diorites and syenites from the Aar massif, central Alps. The rocks were emplaced during three magmatic pulses after Hercynian collisional tectonics: (A) a shoshonitic-ultrapotassic series at 334±2.5 Ma; (B) scattered diorites and granites at 308–310 Ma; and (C) a high-K cale-alkaline granite batholith at 298±2 Ma. Inheritance of old zircons is negligible among all three groups. The Southern Aar granite, in contrast, is a syn-tectonic, probably ca. 350 Ma old granite that contains large amounts of inherited Precambrian zircons. Alpine metamorphism caused weak lead loss in many analyzed zircon fractions, but left the titanite U−Pb system undisturbed: thorites were almost completely reset by Alpine and recent lead loss. Mineral isochrons defined by titanite, allanite, epidote and apatite yield initial Pb isotopic compositions that are in agreement with the model values of Stacey and Kramers. Initial Hf isotopic compositions range from ɛHf=−8 to +3.5. The data follow a trend of increasing ɛHf with decreasing age. The ɛHf versus element concentration relationships suggest mixing between a mantle and a crustal component. These relationships can be explained in terms of generation of the melts from a subcontinental mantle that had been enriched during subduction events at about 1 Ga and by 300 Ma had developed an isotopic signature distinct from that of MORB-type mantle. Further contamination of the melts occurred during ascent and differentiation in the crust. This late Hercynian magmatism can be related to post-collisional strike-slip tectonics.
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  • 4
    ISSN: 1432-0967
    Source: Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
    Topics: Geosciences
    Notes: Abstract U-Pb analyses of single monazite grains from two granulite facies metapelites in the Ivrea Zone (Southern Alps) reveal the presence, in both samples, of at least three different ages and prove that earlier interpretations of supposedly concordant monazite data as cooling ages are unwarranted. One group of monazite data defines a subconcordant discordia line with an upper intercept age of 293.4 ± 5.8 Ma and a lower intercept age of 210 ± 14 Ma. The upper intercept is interpreted as the real cooling age of the monazites. The lower intercept is interpreted as an episode of fluid-driven Pb-loss, indicated by the presence of internal and external corrosion structures not only of the monazites but also of the zircons in the same samples that are also rejuvenated at 210 ± 12 Ma. Another group of monazite data lies above the concordia. The presence of excess 206Pb indicates that these crystals have grown below the monazite blocking temperature, thus after the granulite facies metamorphism. The age of growth of the new monazite crystals is approached by their 207Pb/235U ages that range between 273 and 244 Ma. The two groups of post-cooling age (post-293.4 ± 5.8 Ma) monazite data correspond to two distinct late- and post-Variscan geotectonic regimes that affected the Southern Alps, (1) Permian transtension with decompression and anatectic melting; (2) Upper Triassic to Lower Jurassic rifting with geographically dispersed hydrothermal activity and alkaline magmatism.
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  • 5
    ISSN: 0016-7835
    Keywords: Key words Austro-Alpine ; Eastern Alps ; Oceanic rocks ; Rb ; Sr ; Zircon ; U ; Pb ; Magmatism
    Source: Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
    Topics: Geosciences
    Notes: Abstract  Garnet–hornblende–plagioclase gneisses rich in incompatible elements occur in the crystalline basement of the Austro-Alpine Silvretta nappe and are associated with clinopyroxene norites and harzburgite cumulates. It is proposed here that the gneisses were formerly oceanic plagiogranites. An εNd( 530 ) value of +5.6 for the gneisses as well as initial 87Sr/86Sr values of 0.7036–0.7037 for the gabbroic rocks and 0.7026–0.7027 for the ultramafic rocks suggest a mantle source for this rock association. The geochemical characteristics of the garnet–hornblende–plagioclase gneisses indicate that their precursors were derived by fractional crystallization from a basaltic parent magma, by the same process which produced the adjacent clinopyroxene norites and ultramafic cumulates as well. The combined U–Pb upper intercept ages of zircons from two gneiss samples yield an igneous crystallization age of 532±30 Ma, similar to previously dated (mostly calc-alkaline) orthogneisses in the same area. High-quality transparent zircons showed the least degree of discordance, but contain extremely low U and Pb levels. The rock suite, including this plagiogranite, was emplaced within oceanic crust which formed in the latest Precambrian–early Palaeozoic off the northern continental margin of Gondwana.
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  • 6
    ISSN: 1365-3121
    Source: Blackwell Publishing Journal Backfiles 1879-2005
    Topics: Geosciences
    Notes: We provide new geological and isotope geochemical constraints on the evolution from continental rifting to sea-floor spreading along a segment of the Jurassic Tethyan margin exposed in the Platta and Err nappes (eastern Central Alps). Field observations show that the ocean–continent transition zone is characterized by oceanward-dipping detachment faults leading to the exhumation of subcontinental mantle rocks subsequently intruded by gabbro bodies and dolerite dikes, and covered by pillow basalts and radiolarites. Zircons extracted from gabbros and albitite yield concordant U–Pb ages of 161 ± 1 Ma; their initial ɛHf (+ 14.4 to + 14.9) as well as bulk rock ɛNd values of from gabbros and basalts (+ 7.3 to + 9.5) point to a MORB-type depleted mantle source. These data suggest that the onset of magmatic activity coincides with the latest phase of mantle exhumation along low-angle detachment faults and may be controlled by upwelling asthenosphere beneath a zone of exhumed continental mantle.
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  • 7
    Electronic Resource
    Electronic Resource
    Oxford, UK : Blackwell Publishing Ltd
    Terra nova 9 (1997), S. 0 
    ISSN: 1365-3121
    Source: Blackwell Publishing Journal Backfiles 1879-2005
    Topics: Geosciences
    Notes: Magmatism in the central part of the Variscan orogenic belt in Europe has occurred in several distinct episodes. Each episode spanned a few million years and was characterized by a distinct geochemical signature and geodynamic setting: (i) between 340 and 330 Ma (Visean), high-K diorites and granitoids within a zone extending parallel the orogen axis, possibly tracing a palaeosuture; (ii) at 310–307 Ma (Westphalian), calc-alkaline granitoids in the Intra-Alpine domain; (iii) at 304–295 Ma (Stephanian), subalkaline granitoids in Intra-Alpine and Pennine domains; and finally (iv) at 280–270 Ma (Permian) granitoids in Pennine, Austroalpine and South-Alpine domains. The generation and emplacement of granitoid melts in the Variscan crust are suggested to be short-term pulses that are controlled by extensional processes in the lithosphere such as thermal erosion and relaxation of the lithospheric mantle, and decompressional melting.
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  • 8
    ISSN: 1365-3121
    Source: Blackwell Publishing Journal Backfiles 1879-2005
    Topics: Geosciences
    Notes: This paper presents high-precision U–Pb ages and initial Hf isotopic compositions of zircon from mafic to felsic rocks of the Kohistan Arc Complex, Pakistan. Three magmatic pulses tapping geochemically different reservoirs are distinguished. Partial melting of mantle with MORB-type isotopic characteristics generated 99–92-Ma-old magmas. Plutonism around 85 Ma tapped a more fertile mantle source, most likely consisting of a 〉600-Ma-old metasomatically enriched mantle, or of mantle contaminated by an old sedimentary component; 82-Ma-old felsic peraluminous dykes have MORB-type isotopic compositions considered to be inherited from remelting earlier magmas in the deep base of the arc. The isotopic results demonstrate several and rather rapid changes in melt source region during arc development. They also show that there was subordinate continental influence and negligible importance of slab components for the Hf budget during the generation of the Kohistan Arc Complex.
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  • 9
    ISSN: 1437-3262
    Keywords: Austro-Alpine ; Eastern Alps ; Oceanic rocks ; Rb-Sr ; Zircon ; U-Pb ; Magmatism
    Source: Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
    Topics: Geosciences
    Notes: Abstract Garnet-hornblende-plagioclase gneisses rich in incompatible elements occur in the crystalline basement of the Austro-Alpine Silvretta nappe and are associated with clinopyroxene norites and harzburgite cumulates. It is proposed here that the gneisses were formerly oceanic plagiogranites. An εNd(530) value of +5.6 for the gneisses as well as initial87Sr/86Sr values of 0.7036–0.7037 for the gabbroic rocks and 0.7026–0.7027 for the ultramafic rocks suggest a mantle source for this rock association. The geochemical characteristics of the garnet-hornblende-plagioclase gneisses indicate that their precursors were derived by fractional crystallization from a basaltic parent magma, by the same process which produced the adjacent clinopyroxene norites and ultramafic cumulates as well. The combined U-Pb upper intercept ages of zircons from two gneiss samples yield an igneous crystallization age of 532 ± 30 Ma, similar to previously dated (mostly calcalkaline) orthogneisses in the same area. High-quality transparent zircons showed the least degree of discordance, but contain extremely low U and Pb levels. The rock suite, including this plagiogranite, was emplaced within oceanic crust which formed in the latest Precambrian-early Palaeozoic off the northern continental margin of Gondwana.
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  • 10
    Publication Date: 2019-03-05
    Description: The geological record contains evidence of volcanic eruptions that were as much as two orders of magnitude larger than the most voluminous eruption experienced by modern civilizations, the A.D. 1815 Tambora (Indonesia) eruption. Perhaps nowhere on Earth are deposits of such supereruptions more prominent than in the Snake River Plain–Yellowstone Plateau (SRP-YP) volcanic province (northwest United States). While magmatic activity at Yellowstone is still ongoing, the Heise volcanic field in eastern Idaho represents the youngest complete caldera cycle in the SRP-YP, and thus is particularly instructive for current and future volcanic activity at Yellowstone. The Heise caldera cycle culminated 4.5 Ma ago in the eruption of the ∼1800 km3 Kilgore Tuff. Accessory zircons in the Kilgore Tuff display significant intercrystalline and intracrystalline oxygen isotopic heterogeneity, and the vast majority are 18O depleted. This suggests that zircons crystallized from isotopically distinct magma batches that were generated by remelting of subcaldera silicic rocks previously altered by low-δ18O meteoric-hydrothermal fluids. Prior to eruption these magma batches were assembled and homogenized into a single voluminous reservoir. U-Pb geochronology of isotopically diverse zircons using chemical abrasion–isotope dilution–thermal ionization mass spectrometry yielded indistinguishable crystallization ages with a weighted mean 206Pb/238U date of 4.4876 ± 0.0023 Ma (MSWD = 1.5; n = 24). These zircon crystallization ages are also indistinguishable from the sanidine 40Ar/39Ar dates, and thus zircons crystallized close to eruption. This requires that shallow crustal melting, assembly of isolated batches into a supervolcanic magma reservoir, homogenization, and eruption occurred extremely rapidly, within the resolution of our geochronology (103–104 yr). The crystal-scale image of the reservoir configuration, with several isolated magma batches, is very similar to the reservoir configurations inferred from seismic data at active supervolcanoes. The connection of magma batches vertically distributed over several kilometers in the upper crust would cause a substantial increase of buoyancy overpressure, providing an eruption trigger mechanism that is the direct consequence of the reservoir assembly process.
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