Abstract

The 2.68 Ga Phantom Lake metamorphic suite of the Sierra Madre is a volcanogenic, volcaniclastic, and siliciclastic sequence that may have been deposited on or near the margin of the Wyoming Province or, alternatively, it may represent part of an exotic block accreted onto the southern margin of the Wyoming Province. The metamorphosed supracrustal rocks of the Phantom Lake metamorphic suite, along with quartzofeldspathic gneisses and granitoids of similar age, have light rare-earth element (LREE) – enriched REE patterns with little to no Eu-anomaly. These patterns are comparable to those of modern oceanic arc rocks and sediments. Both supracrustal and metaigneous rocks have radiogenic initial εNd from +4.5 to –2.5 and Nd crustal residence ages between 2.7 and 3.0 Ga. It is proposed that these juvenile rocks were part of an intra-oceanic arc system formed beyond the influence of detritus from the Wyoming Province and subsequently were accreted onto the southern Wyoming Province following intrusion of granitic gneisses in the Sierra Madre at ca. 2.64 Ga. The younger 2.43 Ga Baggot Rocks granite has less radiogenic εNd of –3.9 suggesting that the rocks of the Sierra Madre had accreted to the Wyoming Province by 2.43 Ga. The supracrustal sequences at South Pass, Bradley Peak, and the Rattlesnake Hills have similar, radiogenic initial Nd isotope compositions. Together with the Phantom Lake metamorphic suite, they represent juvenile additions to existing continental crust and provide evidence that lateral accretion of oceanic terranes was an important process of late Archean crustal growth in the Wyoming Province.

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