Abstract

Granitic orthogneiss forms an important component of the Barkerville terrane of southeastern British Columbia. Rb–Sr whole-rock ages for the orthogneisses are ambiguous and range from Late Proterozoic to mid-Paleozoic, with large associated errors. U–Pb dating of zircon, monazite, and sphene has been employed in an attempt to establish precise crystallization ages for two of the orthogneiss bodies. U–Pb systematics for zircons from both bodies show the combined effects of inheritance of zircon cores and postcrystallization Pb loss. This complexity precludes a precise estimate of the age of emplacement of the granitic protoliths of the gneiss. The data do, however, constrain possible emplacement ages for the bodies to between 335 and 375 Ma (Late Devonian – mid-Mississippian).A U–Pb age of 174 ± 4 Ma for metamorphic sphene from one of the orthogneiss bodies is interpreted as dating the end of the second phase of deformation in the area. Two nearly concordant U–Pb ages of 114 and 117 Ma for monazite from the second body remain problematical. These data suggest either that the monazite grew during a relatively young shearing and (or) metamorphic event that locally affected the Barkerville terrane or that the closure temperatue for the U–Pb system in monazite is lower than had previously been inferred, or both.

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