Abstract

The 2.95–2.82 Ga quartzo-feldspathic gneisses and granitoids in the Bighorn, western Owl Creek, and north-eastern Wind River uplifts in the central Wyoming Province include low-K tonalite–trondhjemite–granodiorite (TTG) and high-K granodiorite–granite (GG) rocks. Both types of granitoids were intruded contemporaneously, although TTGs are more abundant in the older gneisses. The TTG suite consists of calcic to marginally calc-alkalic rocks that straddle the boundaries between metaluminous and peraluminous and between ferroan and magnesian compositions. Rare-earth element (REE) patterns of these rocks may be highly fractionated with low heavy rare-earth element (HREE) contents and modest to absent Eu anomalies but may also be less strongly HREE depleted. These rocks do not represent first-generation continental crust: most have unradiogenic Nd and radiogenic 207Pb/204Pb isotopic compositions that require the incorporation of isotopically evolved sources. The GG suite has compositions that are transitional between Archean TTG and modern, continental margin calc-alkalic rocks. The GG suite is characterized by higher alkali contents relative to CaO than the TTG suite and higher K/Na ratios but exhibits a similar range in REE patterns. The Nd, Sr, and Pb isotopic compositions of the GG suite are slightly less variable but lie within the range of those of the TTG suite. We interpret them as having a source similar to that of the TTG, perhaps forming by partial melting of preexisting TTG. The shift from TTG-dominated to GG-dominated continental crust was a gradual transition that took place over several hundred million years. Clearly subduction-related calc-alkalic magmatism is not recognized in the Wyoming Province prior to 2.67 Ga.

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