Detrital zircon U-Pb-Hf and O isotope character of the Cahill Formation and Nourlangie Schist, Pine Creek Orogen: Implications for the tectonic correlation and evolution of the North Australian Craton

J.A. Hollis, C.J. Carson, L.M. Glass, N. Kositcin, A. Scherstén, K.E. Worden, R.A. Armstrong, G.M. Yaxley, Anthony Kemp

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    12 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    Detrital zircon age and Hf isotope patterns for the Cahill Formation and Nourlangie Schist are distinctly different from other Paleoproterozoic successions in the North Australian Craton. The Cahill Formation and Nourlangie Schist comprise the bulk of the Paleoproterozoic strata in the Nimbuwah Domain, the easternmost part of the Pine Creek Orogen on the northern margin of the North Australian Craton. They comprise micaceous and quartzofeldspathic schist, carbonaceous schist, calc-silicate rock, amphibolite and quartzite, deformed and metamorphosed during emplacement of the granitic to dioritic Nimbuwah Complex at 1867-1857Ma. The Cahill Formation hosts several world-class uranium deposits including Ranger, Jabiluka and Nabarlek. U-Pb SHRIMP and LA-SF-ICPMS detrital zircon spectra for four samples of the Cahill Formation and six samples of the Nourlangie Schist show a similar broad spectrum of ages mainly in the range 3300-1900Ma. A ubiquitous dominant peak at 2530-2470Ma matches the age of underlying Neoarchean basement, but is distinct in its dominantly mantle-like Hf and O zircon isotopic character, which shows closer similarity with possible source rocks from the Gawler Craton or alternatively from the Dharwar Craton. Common smaller age peaks occur at 2180Ma, 2080Ma and 2020Ma. The first two have no known magmatic age correlatives in the North Australian Craton. Zircons of the 2020Ma peak have distinctively unradiogenic Hf and elevated δ18O, at variance with local rocks of this age but similar to detrital zircon of the same age from the Gawler Craton. In contrast to younger Proterozoic sedimentary successions within the Pine Creek Orogen, which contain ubiquitous ca. 1870Ma detritus, the detrital spectra for the Cahill Formation and Nourlangie Schist contain almost no ca. 1870Ma detritus. A maximum deposition age of ca. 1866Ma indicates deposition within error of intrusion of the Nimbuwah Complex. We propose that the Cahill Formation and Nourlangie Schist were deposited at a plate margin immediately prior to convergent tectonism. This resulted in their burial, deformation and amphibolite facies metamorphism during orogenesis associated with the Nimbuwah Event. These findings have implications for understanding the Paleoproterozoic evolution of the Pine Creek Orogen within the context of northern Australia. © 2014.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)35-53
    Number of pages19
    JournalPrecambrian Research
    Volume246
    Early online date11 Mar 2014
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - Jun 2014

    Fingerprint

    Dive into the research topics of 'Detrital zircon U-Pb-Hf and O isotope character of the Cahill Formation and Nourlangie Schist, Pine Creek Orogen: Implications for the tectonic correlation and evolution of the North Australian Craton'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this