RESOLVING SUPERCONTINENT MODELS WITH MULTI-MINERAL PROVENANCE STUDIES OF PROTEROZOIC SEDIMENTARY ROCKS IN THE SOUTHWEST US AND EAST ANTARCTICA
Arizona samples yield zircon ages from 1.45-1.8 Ga, with a concentration of grains at ca. 1.6 Ga. Detrital zircon ages from the TAM samples vary and include Grenville-age grains but most share major populations between 1.5 and 1.8 Ga. Trace elements from these zircons show a net decrease in Gb/Yb, U/Yb, and Nb/Yb, and a net increase in Eu/Eu* from 1.8 Ga to 1.5 Ga, suggesting that the younger grains came from a less evolved source. Arizona samples mimic the TAM with a more subdued trend during this period. Based on similarities, these combined zircon ages suggest that the two basins shared a detrital source region during this period, some of which is likely on East Antarctica. Monazites from the TAM samples have ages at 1.2 and 1.5 Ga, and those from Arizona form a continuum from 1.5-1.7 Ga, indicating shared metamorphic event around 1.5 Ga. Detrital rutile grains found in one Antarctic sample also show evidence of a Neoproterozoic/early Paleozoic metamorphic event, probably the Ross Orogeny. Together, our new age and trace element data from detrital mineral suites are consistent with the SWEAT configuration for Columbia.
Future work will entail analysis of Hf isotopes in zircon and Pb isotopes in detrital feldspar to provide a more comprehensive evaluation of the sources of the minerals in order to constrain the placement of the continental blocks.