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The Wet Mountains–southern Front Range region is underlain by high-grade granitic gneiss, amphibolite, and schist of Early Proterozoic age. These rocks were intruded by granitic to granodioritic plutons during four episodes: one in the Early Proterozoic (1,660 to 1,700 Ma) and three in the Middle Proterozoic (1,485 to 1,440 Ma, 1,370 to 1,360 Ma, and about 1,060 Ma). We also report here a zircon age determination (536 ± 4 Ma) for syenite of the Cambrian McClure Mountain alkaline-mafic complex.

The granitic gneiss was clearly formed before 1,700 Ma. Its protolith was probably pelitic to psammitic sedimentary rocks, in contrast to the volcanogenic rocks of this age farther west in the Gunnison and Salida areas of Colorado. The early Proterozoic plutons emplaced within the granitic gneiss are mostly somewhat younger than those emplaced within volcanogenic rocks to the west, although some are coeval. The middle Proterozoic rocks are representatives of the widespread “anorogenic granite-rhyolite suite” which is known in the St. Francois Mountains of Missouri and the subsurface of the midcontinent.

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