Zircon U-Pb geochronology of plutonic rocks from the Antarctic Peninsula: Confirmation of the presence of unexposed Paleozoic crust

J.A. Tangeman, S.B. Mukasa, A.M. Grunow

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31 Scopus citations

Abstract

The Antarctic Peninsula represents the southernmost segment of a magmatic arc once present along the western margin of Gondwanaland. Zircon U-Pb geochronology of a suite of calc-alkaline granitoids from the west coast of Graham Land, northern Antarctic Peninsula, resulted in ages for the rocks ranging from 117.0 ± 0.8 to 73.6 ± 0.4 Ma. Discordant zircon populations from peraluminous granites reveal inheritance characteristics resulting from entrainment of older crustal materials. Upper intercept ages of discordant zircon populations in four samples indicate that the age of assimilated material is approximately late Paleozoic. This inherited component is present in four samples from Bone Bay, Charlotte Bay, and Stonington Island and thus may extend for ∼600 km along the west coast of Graham Land. A possible source for the inherited components is the late Paleozoic(?) sediments of the Trinity Peninsula Group. However, a late Proterozoic upper intercept age for the Charlotte Bay granodiorite in western central Graham Land indicates that the age of the rocks assimilated by this suite of plutons is not uniformly late Paleozoic and might include unexposed basement rocks. Finally, an upper intercept age of 431 ± 12 Ma from a granite clast in metaconglomerate from Horseshoe Island provides further evidence for the presence of mid-Paleozoic basement in Graham Land. These results confirm the already postulated minimum early Paleozoic age for Antarctic Peninsula basement.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1309-1324
Number of pages16
JournalTectonics
Volume15
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1996

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Export Date: 3 November 2016

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