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Abstract

Mesoproterozoic basement in the vicinity of Mount Rogers is characterized by considerable lithologic variability, including major map units composed of gneiss, amphibolite, migmatite, meta-quartz monzodiorite and various types of granitoid. SHRIMP U-Pb geochronology and field mapping indicate that basement units define four types of occurrences, including (1) xenoliths of ca. 1.33 to ≥1.18 Ga age, (2) an early magmatic suite including meta-granitoids of ca. 1185–1140 Ma age that enclose or locally intrude the xenoliths, (3) metasedimentary rocks represented by layered granofels and biotite schist whose protoliths were likely deposited on the older meta-granitoids, and (4) a late magmatic suite composed of younger, ca. 1075–1030 Ma intrusive rocks of variable chemical composition that intruded the older rocks. The magmatic protolith of granofels constituting part of a layered, map-scale xenolith crystallized at ca. 1327 Ma, indicating that the lithology represents the oldest, intact crust presently recognized in the southern Appalachians. SHRIMP U-Pb data indicate that periods of regional Mesoproterozoic metamorphism occurred at 1170–1140 and 1070–1020 Ma. The near synchroneity in timing of regional metamorphism and magmatism suggests that magmas were emplaced into crust that was likely at nearsolidus temperatures and that melts might have contributed to the regional heat budget. Much of the area is cut by numerous, generally east- to northeast-striking Paleozoic fault zones characterized by variable degrees of ductile deformation and recrystallization. These high-strain fault zones dismember the terrane, resulting in juxtaposition of units and transformation of basement lithologies to quartz- and mica-rich tectonites with protomylonitic and mylonitic textures. Mineral assemblages developed within such zones indicate that deformation and recrystallization likely occurred at greenschist-facies conditions at ca. 340 Ma.

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