Abstract

The East Kemptville muscovite–topaz leucogranite, located in Yarmouth County, Nova Scotia, Canada, is host rock to the only producing primary tin deposit in North America (56 Mt, 0.165% Sn). Previous geochronological studies include (i) Rb–Sr whole-rock analyses of the quartz–topaz greisens, which indicated a date of 337 ± 5 Ma, and (ii) 40Ar/39Ar analyses of greisen muscovite, which indicated apparent plateau dates of ca. 300 Ma. However, the pervasive development of deformational fabrics at East Kemptville suggests that both the Rb–Sr whole-rock and 40Ar/39Ar muscovite ages are at best minimum estimates for the inferred time of mineralization. In the present study, Rb–Sr whole-rock and mineral (muscovite, plagioclase, K-feldspar) analyses and 40Ar/39Ar incremental-step heating of a muscovite separate indicate the following: (i) diffusion of Sr on the whole-rock scale terminated at 344 ± 5 Ma (11 point isochron date), coincident with closure of muscovite to intracrystalline diffusion of Ar (apparent plateau date of 338 ± 2 Ma) and (ii) internal reequilibration of Sr among muscovite, feldspar, and whole rock varied considerably such that Rb–Sr whole rock – muscovite pairs give dates of 361–311 Ma (mean = 330 Ma, n = 7), whereas whole rock – plagioclase – K-feldspar give dates of 276–240 Ma (mean = 254 Ma, n = 7). This younger thermal event is reflected in apparent dates of 269–286 Ma for the low-temperature steps of the 40Ar/39Ar muscovite age spectrum.Collectively the data indicate that the East Kemptville area either cooled slowly over a protracted period of time (ca. 100 Ma) or experienced episodic tectono-thermal activity at ca. 344, 330, and 254 Ma. Examination of previously published geochronological data for the southern Meguma Terrane indicates that these aforementioned ages broadly coincide with earlier documented magmatic or tectono-thermal events (e.g., intrusion of Wedgeport Pluton at 315 Ma). Inferences by some workers of mid-Carboniferous magmatism in the Meguma Terrane are, however, not supported by the present study.

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