Abstract

Precise U–Pb monazite and 40Ar/39Ar hornblende ages have been obtained from three locations in the high-grade Archean core of the Wind River Range, Wyoming. Monazites from metapelites in the Paradise Basin, Medina Mountain, and Crescent Lake have U–Pb ages of 2718 ± 1, 2633 ± 5, and 2657 ± 2 Ma, respectively. Hornblendes from amphibolites and granulites from the same locations yield plateau 40Ar/39Ar isotope ages of 2652 ± 11, 2572 ± 9, and 2527 ± 8 Ma, respectively, and are interpreted as cooling ages from the last thermal event. The three localities experienced similar peak pressure–temperature conditions. The timing of high-grade metamorphism in the Paradise Basin is older than the emplacement of large subjacent batholiths at 2.63–2.67 Ga. Calculated cooling rates based on monazite–hornblende pairs of 3.4 ± 1.0 °C/Ma for Paradise Basin, 3.8 ± 1.2 °C/Ma for Medina Mountain, and 1.7 ± 0.4 °C/Ma for Crescent Lake cannot be used to rule out reheating during subsequent pluton emplacement. The markedly slower cooling rate inferred for Crescent Lake may indicate early differential uplift or may demark another regional metamorphic event. The difference in 40Ar/39Ar ages between hornblende (2652 ± 11 Ma) and biotite (2637 ± 11 Ma) suggests a more rapid cooling rate, 11 °C/Ma, for Paradise Basin between 2.65 and 2.63 Ga, which may be related to the time of large-scale batholith emplacement elsewhere in the terrane. Combining new data with other ages in the Wind River Range reveals an extended metamorphic history, punctuated by thermal events over a time interval of at least 700 Ma.

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