West African provenance for Saxo-Thuringia (Bohemian Massif): Did Armorica ever leave pre-Pangean Gondwana? : U/Pb-SHRIMP zircon evidence and the Nd-isotopic record

U. Linnemann, Neal Mcnaughton, R.L. Romer, M. Ghmlich, K. Drost, C. Tonk

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    Neoproterozoic rocks in the Saxo-Thuringian part of Armorica formed in an active margin setting and were overprinted during Cadomian orogenic processes at the northern margin of Gondwana. The Early Palaeozoic overstep sequence in Saxo-Thuringia was deposited in a Cambro-Ordovician rift setting that reflects the separation of Avalonia and other terranes from the Gondwana mainland. Upper Ordovician and Silurian to Early Carboniferous shelf sediments of Saxo-Thuringia were deposited at the southern passive margin of the Rheic Ocean. SHRIMP U/Pb geochronology on detrital and inherited zircon grains from pre-Variscan basement rocks of the northern part of the Bohemian Massif (Saxo-Thuringia, Germany) demonstrates a distinct West African provenance for sediments and magmatic rocks in this part of peri-Gondwana. Nd-isotope data of Late Neoproterozoic to Early Carboniferous sedimentary rocks show no change in sediment provenance from the Neoproterozoic to the Lower Carboniferous, which implies that Saxo-Thuringia did not leave its West African source before the Variscan Orogeny leading to the Lower Carboniferous configuration of Pangea. Hence, large parts of the pre-Variscan basement of Western and Central Europe often referred to as Armorica or Armorican Terrane Assemblage may have remained with Africa in pre-Pangean time, which makes Armorica a remnant of a "Greater Africa" in Gondwanan Europe. The separation of Armorica from the Gondwana mainland and a long drift during the Palaeozoic is not supported by the presented data.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)683-705
    JournalInternational Journal of Earth Sciences
    Issue number5
    Publication statusPublished - 2004


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