Three-Dimensional Evolution of the Early Paleozoic Western Laurentian Margin: New Insights From Detrital Zircon U-Pb Geochronology and Hf Isotope Geochemistry of the Harmony Formation of Nevada
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Uranium-lead (U-Pb) geochronology and Hafnium (Hf) isotope geochemistry of detrital zircons of the Harmony Formation of north central Nevada provide new insights into the tectonic evolution of the Late Paleozoic western Laurentian margin. Using laser-ablation inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry, 10 arenite samples were analyzed for U-Pb ages, and 8 of these samples were further analyzed for Hf isotope ratios. Three of the sampled units have similar U-Pb age peaks and Hf isotope ratios, including a 1.0-1.4Ga peak with epsilon Hf values of +12 to -3 and a 2.5-2.7Ga peak with epsilon Hf values of +7 to -5. The remaining seven samples differ significantly from these three, but are similar to one anotherhaving age peaks of 1.7-1.9Ga with epsilon Hf of +10 to -20 and age peaks of 2.3-2.7Ga with epsilon Hf of +6 to -8. The data confirm the subdivision of the Harmony Formation into two petrofacies: quartzose (Harmony A) and feldspathic (Harmony B). The three samples with 1.0-1.4 and 2.5-2.7Ga peaks are the Harmony A, which originated in the central Laurentian craton. The other seven samples are the Harmony B, which originated in eastern Alberta-western Saskatchewan, north of the Harmony A source. We propose that all Harmony Formation strata were deposited near eastern Alberta and subsequently tectonically interleaved with Roberts Mountains allochthon strata. We interpret that the entire package was tectonically transported south along the western Laurentian margin and then emplaced eastward onto the craton during the Late Devonian-Early Mississippian Antler orogeny.
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