Abstract

SIMS dating of detrital zircons from the stratigraphically enigmatic Radzimowice Slates of the Kaczawa Mountains (Sudetes, SW Poland), near the eastern termination of the European Variscides, has yielded age populations of: (1) 493–512 Ma, corresponding to late Cambrian to early Ordovician magmatism and constraining a maximum depositional age; (2) between 550 and 650 Ma, reflecting input from diverse Cadomian sources; and (3) older inherited components ranging to c. 3.3 Ga, with age spectra similar to those from Gondwanan North Africa. The new data show that the Radzimowice Slates cannot form a Proterozoic base to the Kaczawa Mountains succession, as suggested by earlier models, but was deposited, at the earliest, as an extensional basin-fill, during a relatively late stage of the break-up of this part of northern Gondwana.

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